Police now say there have been two separate reports of a man impersonating a police officer in Volunteer Park. CHS previously reported on a Wednesday incident — the details on that reported robbery are below. SPD now has released information about a previous incident on the 19th of December:
The first occurred on December 19th, around 7:30 pm, although it wasn’t reported to us until the next day. The victim stated that he was walking through Volunteer Park and needed to use the restroom. While in the restroom, a man began to casually talk to him. The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 40 years old, ”scruffy looking”, short brown/reddish hair, and wearing a green knee length nylon jacket and brown sweater.
The victim believed that the man was an actual undercover officer, and permitted him to remove his wallet and look at his driver’s license. The suspect then told the victim that he and his “partner” were conducting an undercover operation inside the park, and that the victim would need to stay out of not only Volunteer, but Woodland Park and the Arboretum as well.
The following day at work the victim noticed one of his credit cards was missing and when he returned home that evening discovered several calls from his bank alerting him to possible fraudulent activity. After he deactivated his card, he contacted the real police to report it.
Here is our report on the Wednesday night incident that we posted earlier:
- ‘Gold badge’ robbery: A local club manager told SPD he was detained and robbed by a man claiming to be a police officer “doing undercover operations” in Volunteer Park, Wednesday night.
According to SPD, the victim contacted officers on the street Wednesday following the 7:45 PM incident that the manager said started when he stopped in the park to go to the bathroom.
The victim told police that he was in the bushes near the park’s lilly ponds when he was approached from behind by a man wearing “all dark clothing” and with “a gold badge attached to his waistband or belt.”
The supposed cop started talking with the victim, asking him how he was doing and telling the man he looked like a person he had arrested before.
The victim told police he protested that he had never been arrested as the man in dark clothing walked him back to his car and told him to place his hands on the vehicle before removing everything from the victim’s pockets.
The victim told police that he believed the man was an officer so continued to comply and allowed the man to empty his pockets — including his wallet. As the supposed cop held the victim’s wallet, he told the club manager to open the trunk of his car which was full of bottles of alcohol to be delivered to the bar. The man in dark clothing told the victim to move one of the cases to the passenger seat of the vehicle and that he wanted the victim to “drive him up the street.”
The victim told police he thought this was an odd request and decided to challenge the suspect. He told the man he knew lots of cops and mentioned one police officer by name. The man in dark clothing then reached behind the victim and returned the wallet to the victim’s back pocket and told him to get lost.
“Get out of here, we’re doing undercover operations here,” the suspect reportedly said.
When the victim arrived at the Capitol Hill club he manages, he discovered money was missing from his wallet. He returned to the area near the park where he encountered police officers conducting a traffic stop and informed them of the incident minutes earlier.
A search of Volunteer Park did not turn up anybody matching the suspect’s description. SPD says there were no undercover operations underway in the park at the time.
UPDATE: SPD has also included a version of the suspect description in this week’s report: “white male, 40, 5′ 5″ 150 pounds, with blonde, longish hair. He was dressed in all dark clothing, and it appeared that he had a gold badge attached to his waistband or belt.” Police are asking the public to be aware — and to come forward if anybody else has had a run-in with this man:
These are the only reports that we are aware of, and thought it would be helpful to warn people of these particular incidents. If anyone has any information on these crimes, or were a victim of one and have not reported it yet, please contact the Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535.
Remember, if a non-uniformed individual is identifying himself/herself as a Seattle police officer and attempting to stop or detain you and you have doubts about their authenticity, request a uniformed officer or a supervisor to respond to the scene or simply call 911 yourself and report the circumstances.
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