GEISMAR — Ascension Parish sheriff’s detectives searched Wednesday for a man impersonating a police officer who pulled a Geismar woman’s car over, stole her purse and fled.
Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala reported the victim noticed a white van following her from a grocery store as she drove about 9 p.m. Tuesday on Deck Boulevard. When the woman stopped her car, Bacala said, the van, which had a flashing white light on the dashboard, pulled in behind her.
The man, described as white, about 5 feet 7 inches and weighing 175 to 185 pounds, with a partially gray beard and mustache, got out of the van and walked to the woman’s car to tell the victim he was a police officer investigating drug activity in the area, according to a news release Bacala issued.
Deputies said the man was wearing blue jeans and a black shirt with a badge-like emblem on it.
The man instructed the woman to put her purse on the hood, and get back in her car. The man then took her purse and drove away, the release stated.
Bacala said that unmarked law enforcement vehicles typically have more than one set of emergency lights, including flashing headlights and blinking red and blue dashboard lights.
“People should be especially cautious if they see less intense emergency lighting on a vehicle and should even consider calling 911 before they stop for a sparsely lighted unmarked vehicle,” Bacala said.
If there is any doubt about an unmarked vehicle, Bacala said, drivers should drive to a well-lighted and populated area before pulling over.
Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-INFO (4636) or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP (7867).