RED LODGE- Carbon County deputies might be looking for a police impersonator, but they also might not be.
In the last few days, Sheriff Josh McQuillan has been fielding calls from the public concerned about a person attempting to stop drivers and possibly scam them in the veil of a police officer.
“It was that report out of Bighorn County, Wyoming, that first made us aware of this problem,” said McQuillan.
Reports of a police impersonator started first in Wyoming where Bighorn County Sheriff Ken Blackburn said he’s received reports of a white SUV with the words police written on it, pulling over drivers and writing them tickets between Carbon County and Deaver, Wyo.
Then, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office sent out a word of caution on its Facebook page advising motorists of also a white SUV with police markings on it and red and blue flashing lights, stopping cars in the Fromberg and Rockvale areas.
By Wednesday, McQuillan had a woman report that same described vehicle attempted to pull her over on Highway 212 on the way to Laurel.
But the woman didn’t stop.
“We have yet to have anybody report directly to us saying that they indeed were pulled over by this vehicle,” said McQuillan.
Here’s the twist: Recently the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad hired a police officer to patrol rail lines in the area. The officer is stationed out of Billings and drives a white SUV with the word “Police” on the side.
“So that’s why we’re looking for anybody that may have encountered this individual to contact us,” said McQuillan.
The BNSF railroad police officer does patrol the rail line, but that the officer reportedly doesn’t do traffic stops, according to the Bighorn County, Wyo., Sheriff’s Office.
McQuillan said anyone who sees the vehicle should call 911.
Dispatchers can track all on-duty officers via GPS and verify whether the vehicle is an actual law-enforcement officer.