Crime & Courts

April 19, 2013

Men arrested in officer-impersonation case may be linked to more incidents

Acting on a hunch, Wichita beat officers went to a house in west Wichita to see whether two men there were responsible for impersonating police officers earlier this week on Maize Road.

Acting on a hunch, Wichita beat officers went to a house in west Wichita to see whether two men there were responsible for impersonating police officers earlier this week on Maize Road.

They found evidence linking the men, ages 20 and 21, to the Wednesday incident and arrested them, Wichita police Lt. Doug Nolte said.

“It was good police work,” Nolte said.

The two men may be connected to other recent incidents of people impersonating officers, he said.

A 74-year-old man came to a police substation Thursday to report that two people pulled up behind him near 13th Street and Tyler earlier in the week, displayed flashing red and blue lights, and he pulled over, police records show. The vehicle went past him, the report stated, and people inside displayed a laser beam.

He described a blue Ford Bronco. A Kingman woman told police earlier this week that a Bronco that had a white upper portion and blue lower portion pulled up behind her on Maize Road with red and blue lights flashing. But she did not pull over because she did not think it was an actual law enforcement vehicle.

“It’s very possible they may be related,” Nolte said of the incidents on Maize Road and on Tyler.

Anyone who has had a similar experience is encouraged to call 316-268-4646, he said.

“We don’t like it when people are impersonating officers,” Nolte said. “It’s frustrating, because it hinders our job.

“We want people to report encounters in which they’re uncomfortable. Or if someone feels like they’ve been stopped and it isn’t a legitimate stop.”

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