Officer impersonator on the loose in Clayton Co. - CBS46 News

Officer impersonator on the loose in Clayton Co.

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A man driving in Clayton County was pulled over by a car with flashing blue lights, but things weren't what they seemed, it wasn't law enforcement making that stop.

Gregory Smith was at the intersection of McDonough and Folsom when a black Chevy Caprice with blue lights in the grill and dashboard made a traffic stop.

"It does make me worry because you don't know who to trust you don't know if it's a real police officer," said Elishia Thurmon.

According to the Clayton County Police Department, Smith was pulled over by someone impersonating an officer.

During the traffic stop the man asked Smith to get out of his car, telling him he had a warrant for his arrest.

When Smith didn't comply and asked to speak to a supervisor, the impersonator forcefully removed him from the car, struck him several times and then handcuffed and took his wallet.

"It's very scary because with police officers you trust them and thinking they are there to help you and for someone to pull you over that's not a police impersonating a police is scary," said Thurmon

This is just one of several police impersonation incidents in recent months.

Just last month someone pretending to be a police officer tried to stop two girls in Gwinnett County.

Then in March pulled over several women and groped them. 

Crime Stoppers Atlanta says these incidents don't appear to be related but there are things you can do to protect you and your loved ones.

"If you feel uncomfortable in any way, it is okay to pull over into a well lit parking lot somewhere that you feel safe somewhere that may be public."

Officer Thomas Azurt says you should look for specific marking on the patrol car.

"Understand that most of their vehicles that are going to be conducting traffic stops here in metro Atlanta area are going to be marked, as going to say what police department they were for and there's going to be blue lights. So make sure you see those things," said Azurt.

Residents who spoke with CBS46 say they plan to implement those precautions as well as several others.

"The next time I see blue lights I'm going to be very, very cautious actually what I'm going to do is call the police station on my cell phone. I keep my cell phone right there, I'm going to call the police station and make sure that they guy is legit."

The impersonator is described as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s, has brown eyes, black hair and is about 6-feet tall.

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