Deputies search for impersonators wearing sheriff hoodies
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department has responded to two different cases where people have impersonated a deputy, and in one case, the victim was robbed.
According to the sheriff's department on October 15, a man arrived to his home on Martha Drive when he was confronted by two armed suspects telling the man to get on the ground, identifying themselves as sheriff's deputies. The man was robbed at gun point but not injured. According to the sheriff's department, one of the men had the word sheriff on his shirt.
Ashley Davis, the victim’s girlfriend, witnessed the robbery. She said her major concern was keeping her 8-year-old daughter safe.
“I already lock my doors all the time. I already have my windows locked if I’m not home. I have dogs specifically for warning systems,” Davis said.
The suspects took money, a phone, gun and wallet, according to Davis.
Major Tom Reddin with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said law enforcement impersonations are not as common in crime related cases.
“Anytime anyone is contacted by an individual who says they’re with law enforcement, certainly I mean those people in uniform, it’s going to be pretty obvious. However law enforcement is not running around in hoodies,” Reddin said.
The public can recognize a sheriff's deputy by his or her tan shirt, brown pants and badge, according to Reddin. He said members of the public are allowed to ask any member of law enforcement to see identification.
Davis said she knew the suspects were not a part of law enforcement as soon as she saw them because she didn’t see any sort of badge or emblem on their clothing.
“We knew they weren’t cops by the way they were standing, by the way they were carrying themselves,” Davis said.
The other incident happened Monday night on Sieville Avenue. The Columbia Police Department responded a suspicious person call. According to the Boone County Sheriff's Department witnesses say three men had hoodies on, all with the word sheriff on them. The suspects ran behind a building and then back to their car.
Anyone with information on either incident can call Crimestoppers at 573-875-TIPS (8477).