Detectives investigate robbery by man impersonating an officer

Staff reports

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating the robbery of a Geismar resident by a man who was impersonating a police officer.

 According to Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, the victim told investigators that she was followed from a local grocery store to her residence on Deck Blvd by a white van at about 9 p.m. Once she pulled her car in front of her residence, the van stopped behind her and the driver approached her and indicated he was a police officer investigating drug activity.

The suspect instructed the victim to stay in the car and place her purse on the hood of the car.  He then took the purse and left.

The victim was described as a white male with a partially gray beard and mustache who was about 5’7” to 5”9” tall and 175 to 185 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans and a black shirt and had some type of emblem on his shirt that appeared to be a badge.

The victim indicated that at some point as she was being followed by the van, she noticed a flashing white light in the vehicle’s front windshield.

“These types of crimes don’t occur often in Ascension Parish, but this incident should serve as a reminder to the public to be cautious when they see emergency lights on an unmarked car. Typically, an unmarked law enforcement vehicle is going to have a multitude of emergency lights including flashing headlights and red and blue lights in the windshield.  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.

Bacala further said that if there is any doubt about authenticity, it would be prudent that for a driver to travel to a well lighted area where others are present before pulling over for an unmarked law enforcement vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at 225-621-INFO (4636) or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).