The Sangamon County Sheriff's office says the latest in what has become a rash of fake cop incidents this year in and near Springfield appears unconnected to earlier cases, and seems to be the work of a copycat.
A 79-year-old driver told authorities that he was traveling southbound on Curran Road early Monday when an SUV came up behind him, flashing its brights and displaying a yellow oscillating light. The motorist did not pull over, and then the SUV passed him and turned in front of him, blocking his path.
A passenger got out of the SUV, gesturing as though he had a gun and showing something that looked like a badge. He ordered the man out of the vehicle. The man asked why, and the passenger said his vehicle had been reported stolen. The man still refused to get out. Eventually the SUV passenger told him he was free to go and the man proceeded on his way.
Undersheriff Jack Campbell says even though this incident occurred near the scene of some of this year's earliest police impersonator reports, it does not appear to be connected. But he says deputies take every one of these cases seriously and is working to find the suspect vehicle, described as a red or maroon SUV, perhaps a Tahoe. And Campbell reminds drivers that if they have any doubts about a vehicle trying to pull them over, they should keep traveling and call 911.