Law enforcement officials in northeast Texas are warning truck drivers and others of a man posing as a policeman who is threatening to arrest them unless they give him money.
The Rockwall, Texas Police Department (RPD) warned drivers earlier this week that a man is impersonating a police officer in the Texarkana and Rockwall areas.
According to a statement from the RPD, the suspect approaches truck drivers and motorists, primarily at truck stops and hotels, and identifies himself as a police officer. He then demands money from the drivers, in lieu of arrest.
RPD Sgt. Jeff Welch said that the suspect has been traveling the I-33 corridor, possibly traveling as far north as Little Rock, Ark.
“He’s probably wearing his welcome thin now,” Welch said.
Welch said that most truck drivers have a good general knowledge of police operations and can probably tell that the man is not a legitimate law enforcement officer. The suspect lacks a patrol car and a badge, helping give away his ruse.
“I think most truckers know what the police look like,” Welch said.
The suspect was seen in Rockwall wearing tan boots, khaki pants, a dark-colored shirt and a baseball hat with the word “POLICE” in white lettering.
He approaches individuals and claims to be with a narcotics task force operation doing a sting, saying that he needs access to the vehicle for a search. He tells the individuals that he will arrest them or call narcotics dogs if they don’t comply.
When confronted, the man has typically fled the scene. In one incident in Rockwall he pushed the truck driver against his vehicle, stole his wallet and then fled.
“The few times he’s been challenged, he’s walked off,” Welch said.
The suspect is described as an African-American male in his mid-30s. He is described as being 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing 200-240 pounds. He may possibly have facial hair.
According to the RPD, Crime Stoppers will pay for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in these crimes. Anyone with information about the suspect’s identification or whereabouts are encouraged to contact the RPD at 972-7q-7721 or 9-1-1-.
Welch said that if truck drivers or motorists are approached by the suspect, they should contact 9-1-1.
The RPD released this image of the suspect, captured by a hotel security camera: