Deputies say there are easy ways to tell if someone is an impersonator

Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith in uniform. | Credit: WHSV
Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith in uniform. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 23, 2019 at 5:51 PM EDT
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The Augusta County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible police impersonator.

The Sheriff's Office received a call on Sunday, July 21 around 2:20 p.m. about someone using a flashlight to pull a man on a moped over on Eastside Highway in Crimora.

The moped driver described the impersonator as a heavyset white man with dark hair who was driving a two-door silver car and flashing a single blue light.

Sheriff Donald Smith said this is not the first time something like this has happened in the same area.

In 2018, there were three people reported as trying to impersonate law enforcement, and there have been two reports so far this year.

One of those was


But the sheriff thinks this case seems to be a different situation, saying it may have been someone with some road rage.

"To get around him, versus acting like a cop," Smith said. "It was clear to the person on the moped this is not a law enforcement officer."

The moped driver did not pull over for the driver, but turned into the Crimora Dollar General parking lot and notified the sheriff's office as the car kept going south toward Waynesboro.

Sheriff Smith said impersonating law enforcement is a class one misdemeanor. Anyone with more information is asked to call the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office at 540-245-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 800-322-2017.

"It doesn't happen a lot, but it is very concerning when you have somebody that is trying to stop citizens that is not law enforcement," Smith said.

Sheriff Smith said there are some ways to identify whether someone is actually with law enforcement or not, like a marked car.

If an unmarked car is trying to pull you over, a good indicator that it is a real law enforcement officer would be the lights. Official unmarked police vehicles have more than just one, and they flash in different locations on the vehicle.

The sheriff also said real cop cars have sirens and horns.

If you are unsure of whether a real officer is trying to pull you over, officials say to pull into a well-lit area.

"Or just simply maintain the speed limit, pick up the phone, call 911, and correspond with our dispatch," Smith said. " Our dispatch will know whether one of our officers is trying to stop somebody."