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TMCNet:  Woman reports being robbed at gunpoint by man in police uniform

[January 18, 2013]

Woman reports being robbed at gunpoint by man in police uniform

Jan 19, 2013 (The Wichita Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A 25-year-old woman reported being pulled over and robbed at gunpoint early Friday morning by a man she said was wearing a Wichita police uniform and driving a dark-colored Crown Victoria with flashing red-and-blue lights in the dashboard and front bumper of the car, police said.

The incident was reported at 1:20 a.m. in the 900 block of South Doreen, Lt. Doug Nolte said. That is at Lincoln just west of Rock Road in southeast Wichita.

The woman said a man in his 20s approached her car and asked to see her license and registration, Nolte said. She looked down to get the documents and when she looked back up, he had a gun pointed at her head He ordered her out of the car, but she refused. He took a purse containing miscellaneous identification, a debit card and a small amount of cash, Nolte said.

The woman said the man was dressed in a Wichita police uniform. Investigators have been unable to corroborate her story, Nolte said.

"My concern is that there could be an imposter out there that is posing as a police officer," Nolte said. "We're not dismissing this as nothing." Sedgwick County Emergency Communications tracks the location of every law enforcement officer and vehicle in the county, Nolte said, and none were in that area at the time of the reported robbery. Officers are unable to disable the tracking devices, he said, which are in place as a safety measure.

Wichita police do not have dark-colored Crown Victorias in their fleet, he said. The department's patrol cars are "black-and-whites," he said.

Marked police vehicles, fire trucks and EMS ambulances that have a mobile terminal in them also have an Automatic Vehicle Locator, which works like a GPS device, Randy Bargdill, director of Sedgwick County Emergency Communications, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The device allows dispatchers to send fire trucks and EMS crews in the closest vehicles to incidents, he said. The device allows dispatchers to track units on a map.

It also alerts dispatchers to the location of EMS, fire and police units "in case they are in trouble and need assistance," Bargdill said.

Interviews with residents in the area of the reported robbery early Friday morning yielded no other witnesses or leads in the case, Nolte said.

While there have been instances of people posing as law enforcement officers in the past, he said, this is the first time someone has pulled a gun on a victim.

Anyone who may have been robbed by a man they thought was a law enforcement officer should contact police so authorities can see whether a crime trend is emerging, Nolte said.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

___ (c)2013 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.) Visit The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.) at www.kansas.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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