The hunt is on for four police impostors who have been
stopping cars in Northland and questioning motorists about
the amount of cash they are carrying.
A team of detectives was yesterday investigating two
incidents in which men in a red car had stopped motorists and
pretended they were police officers as they searched vehicles
and questioned motorists about how much money they had.
The latest report came on Sunday when a red vehicle described
as a Holden Commodore with flashing red and blue lights
stopped a motorist on Otaika Rd, near the information centre,
just south of Whangarei.
The registration plate of the red car was thought to have
ended in 506.
Head of the Whangarei/Kaipara police area Inspector Tracy
Phillips said four men in plain clothes were in the car.
One of them got out and showed some form of identification
before searching the boot for alcohol, telling the driver it
was a liquor ban area.
Ms Phillips said the man asked the female driver for her
identification and questioned her about the amount of money
she had in her possession. When the woman started to question
the validity of the stop the men made an excuse that they had
another job to attend and sped off.
Ms Phillips said a legitimate officer would not ask how much
cash a person had on them.
It is the second incident involving a red car with men posing
as police officers.
The first incident was early on February 9 and involved a
vehicle, described as a red Mazda.
"We are treating this very seriously and doing all we can to
track these people down," Ms Phillips said.
"Most police stops are conducted by staff in uniform in
"If police officers are not in uniform then, if asked, they
will produce identification which contains a name, photograph
and police identification number.
"People have the right to challenge and ask for an officer's
name and personal identification number."
She urged anyone who had suspicions about an officer's
validity to request a name and ring 111 to confirm they were
a sworn police officer.
Police are worried the actions of the quartet will jeopardise
the reputation of police. An urgent appeal has been issued to
anyone with information about the bogus officers.
People found guilty of impersonating a police officer can
face a maximum of 12 months' jail, a maximum fine of $15,000,
Police would like to hear from anyone with information about
similar incidents on 09 430 4500 or call Crimestoppers, 0800
- Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate