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SPD warning public of possible police impersonator in Volunteer Park

Seattle police detectives are investigating two recent incidents in Volunteer Park where someone is pretending to be a police officer.  In both cases, the victims reported the incident to the actual police. 

The first occurred on December 19th, around 7:30 pm, although it wasn’t reported to us until the next day.  The victim stated that he was walking through Volunteer Park and needed to use the restroom.  While in the restroom, a  man  began to casually talk to him.  The suspect was described as a white male, approximately 40 years old, “scruffy looking”, short brown/reddish hair, and wearing a green knee length nylon jacket and brown sweater.

The victim believed that the man was an actual undercover officer, and permitted him to remove his wallet and look at his driver’s license.  The suspect  then told the victim that he and his “partner” were conducting an undercover operation inside the park, and that the victim would need to stay out of not only Volunteer, but Woodland Park and the Arboretum as well. 

The following day at work  the victim noticed one of his credit cards was missing and when he returned home that evening discovered several calls from his bank alerting him to possible fraudulent activity.  After he deactivated his card, he contacted the real police to report it.

The second incident occurred on Wednesday evening of this week.  A man approached an officer as she was finishing up a traffic stop at 10th Avenue and Pine Street just before 8:00 pm.   The man stated that he had just been approached by a male in the restroom in Volunteer Park. The man stated that the suspect struck up a conversation, and described the suspect as a white male, 40,  5′ 5″ 150 pounds, with blonde, longish hair.  He was dressed in all dark clothing, and it appeared that he had a gold badge attached to his waistband or belt.  Again, the suspect was able to convince the victim that he was an officer and the suspect was allowed to remove the wallet from the victim’s pocket.

The suspect asked the victim to give him a ride up the street.  The victim managed to convince the suspect otherwise, and the suspect handed back the victim’s wallet, telling him to get out of the area because they were conducting an undercover operation.  The suspect left the area, drove to work, and then discovered that cash was missing from his wallet.  The victim then saw officers nearby on the traffic stop and walked over to report the crime.  Officers went to the park to search for the suspect, but could not locate him.

These are the only reports that we are aware of, and thought it would be helpful to warn people of these particular incidents.  If anyone has any information on these crimes, or were a victim of one and have not reported it yet, please contact the Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535.

Remember, if a non-uniformed individual is identifying himself/herself as a Seattle police officer and attempting to stop or detain you and you have doubts about their authenticity, request a uniformed officer or a supervisor to respond to the scene or simply call 911 yourself and report the circumstances.