Crime: Man arrested on suspicion of impersonating a Mesa police officer - PressFrom - US
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CrimeMan arrested on suspicion of impersonating a Mesa police officer

21:55  15 may  2019
21:55  15 may  2019 Source:   azcentral.com

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A man was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a Mesa police officer after he made a traffic stop while driving a vehicle with blue-and-red strobe lights, officials said.

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Joshua Hillman, 28, was arrested Thursday by an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper after the trooper stopped to assist with what he thought was a traffic stop by an unmarked police vehicle.

Sgt. Brandon Powell was driving west on U.S. 60 near Lindsay Road when he saw an SUV involved in a traffic stop on a car. Powell noticed the SUV had blue-and-red strobe lights and thought it was an unmarked law-enforcement vehicle, DPS said in a statement.

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Powell stopped to help and saw Hillman talking to the female driver of the car. Powell observed that Hillman did not have a firearm on his waist and was wearing a shirt embroidered with the letters, “Mesa Police” on a gold badge, DPS said.

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Powell questioning the driver and found that Hillman was not a law-enforcement officer and was not affiliated with the Mesa Police Department, DPS said.

Hillman told Powell he stopped the car because the vehicle cut him off. He said he has used the red-and-blue lights in the past when contacting stranded motorists, DPS said.

Hillman was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and three counts of kidnapping.

Authorities say Hillman may have stopped other vehicles under similar circumstances. They are asking anyone who had contact with him to call DPS at 877-272-8329.

This is not the first officer impersonation in the state in recent years.

In January 2018, a man was accused of impersonating an undercover Tucson police officer and stopping at least four people, one of whom he handcuffed. He used a dash cam to film his stops.

In May 2017, police said a man impersonating an officer handcuffed a driver and placed her into the back of his vehicle during a "traffic stop" in Tucson.

Clarksville man arrested after hitting police car, fleeing hospital

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A teenager was arrested in 2015 on suspicion of impersonating a peace officer and conducting traffic stops in San Tan Valley.

Authorities say people should use extreme caution when approached by an unmarked vehicle that looks like a police car, and call 911 if suspicious to verify the stop is valid.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Man arrested on suspicion of impersonating a Mesa police officer

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