Two people were charged Monday with theft and impersonating police officers after a Saturday incident in North Hall.
Hall County sheriff’s deputies responded to the crime scene at Stowers Road around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
The victim thought he was being stopped by an unmarked law enforcement car, a white Chevrolet Tahoe with flashing blue lights, according to a news release from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Once stopped, the victim said one of the occupants of the car assaulted him and fled the scene, taking his Jeep Wrangler, the news release said.
The victim suffered minor facial injuries and did not require treatment.
Richard Chambers, 40, and Stephanie Bolding, 39, both of Gainesville, were arrested Monday at the North Pointe apartment complex on Thompson Bridge Road.
“The investigators were able to identify one of the suspects by doing some legwork,” sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said. “They investigated local businesses that are along the Thompson Bridge corridor and were able to obtain video that led to the positive identification.”
Chambers is facing five charges: battery, robbery by force, theft by taking motor vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and impersonating a police officer. Bolding faces three charges: robbery by force, theft by taking motor vehicle and impersonating a police officer.
Wilbanks warned that the blue light used in the crime was not recovered at the time of the arrest.
“They may have passed it off to some of their cohorts. There were other people involved in this crime that we’re still in the process of identifying,” he said.
“We’re not sure if these two have been responsible for similar crimes, but we’re not ready to rule that out. So if there are more victims out there, we want to encourage them to come forward and talk about that,” Wilbanks said.
The sheriff’s office offered tips for residents to protect themselves from such incidents.
If you suspect you are being stopped by a car that may not be legitimate law enforcement, you should turn on your car’s hazard lights and continue at the speed limit to a well-lit, populated area.
Dial 911 to confirm with dispatch that one of their officers is attempting to stop you.
If the dispatcher advises that the stop is legitimate, stop your car when safe, follow the officer’s instructions, calmly explaining your reason for delaying the stop.
If the dispatcher advises you that the stop is not legitimate, stay on the phone until a local patrol unit can help you, traveling at the speed limit in the meantime.
Remain in your car and follow the instructions of the legitimate officer once they are at the scene.
Chambers is being held in the Hall County Jail without bond, due primarily to the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Wilbanks said.
Bolding is being held on $27,500 bond.
Both will next appear in court Nov. 30 for a committal hearing.