FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Here is some news you might want to make sure you pay attention to. Turns out according to an article in the Journal Standard that a few men, as in more than one, are cohorts with another man who apparently is going around Freeport pretending to be a police officer.
There seems to be a lot of this happening lately.
It was just August of this year that Thomas Kronas, of Poplar Grove, was charged with impersonating a police officer after he used flashing lights to pull over a vehicle which turned out to be driven by an off-duty cop, according to WTVO news.
It was July of this year when a Janesville man found himself in jail accused of pretending to be a police officer. Police say Jeremiah Kemper, 34, tried to enter a locked car when the owner was fishing at the time. The car owner noticed Kemper and confronted him. Investigators said Kemper identified himself as an undercover officer and pulled out a knife.
The incident in Freeport according to the Journal Standard is that this guy, described as black, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and wearing a ski mask, rang the doorbell of a 60-year-old woman, then shined a flashlight in her face, and then pointed a handgun at her, while apparently his cohorts robbed the poor woman.
The woman said when she answered the door, the person identified themselves as the Freeport Police. You can read the full story here.
It doesn’t stop with just pretending to be police officers though.
A California woman was accused of pretending to be a teacher to kidnap a child, earlier this month. Police said she tried to take a 4-year-old boy outside Cooper Elementary School during morning drop-off.
Some people are even successful at it long term.
In December 2018 it was reported that a Chinese man was arrested and charged with fraud for impersonating a police officer. What made his case special is that he managed to convince everyone around him that he was a real police officer for 12 years.
Even the Sheriff’s office isn’t immune.
In July of this year Durand teacher Jennifer Robertson said she was called by someone in the 815 area code claiming to be a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy. The caller allegedly told her she had a federal warrant issued for her arrest, and she needed to pay $500 and turn herself in.
Tips to avoid such scams.
If you are safe inside your own home and there is no emergency happening at the time for you, do not, ever, open your door for any reason if you are not 100% sure who the person is outside.
If anyone calls you claiming to be the police, especially if they’re asking you for money, get a name, phone number, company name and as much detailed information from them as you can, and call the police and report it. Do not answer questions, do not give out your credit card information, and do not give out any personally identifiable information to that caller at all.