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Possible Police Impersonators on Iron Range

Posted at: 01/06/2013 8:46 AM
Updated at: 01/07/2013 10:58 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is still looking for two men that allegedly impersonated officers near Biwabik on Saturday evening.

The men used flashing red and blue lights to pull a woman over on County Highway 4, just five miles south of Biwabik, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.

Lieutenant Ed Kippley said the woman pulled away when she saw the men only wearing jeans and winter jackets.

“Which realistically is not that uncommon for some of our deputies,” Kippley said. “I don't know if they had a criminal motive.”

The suspects did not follow her and she reported the incident to police. The sheriff's office is still looking for the suspects, and that has some Biwabik residents worried.

“I thought it was kind of alarming that somebody would actually, you know, do that. You know, just pull somebody over and it's kind of like why would you do that even? Because obviously the intention isn't good,” Elizabeth Vandehey said.

But Kippley said there are ways to be sure the lights flashing behind you are the real deal.

“And then we do have marker lights on the front that flash. Strobe lights that flash on the front and back of the vehicle. So the car is very well lit up,” Kippley said.

But it can be hard to see at night. He said it is legal to drive safely to a bright and populated area for a traffic stop.

“You can keep driving, just don't go speeding off at a high rate of speed that would cause the officer to become alarmed,” Kippley said.

He also said drivers can keep their doors locked and windows up. Officers are required to carry photo identification, so drivers can ask for that as well.

Kippley said drivers can be cautious and officers will be patient.