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GBI searching for suspect impersonating police officer
Anyone with information asked to contact GBI

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is continuing, along with other agencies, to examine similarities between reports of a man impersonating a law enforcement officer.

The latest report, in Lumpkin County on Monday, is similar to one Feb. 5 in Jackson County. In both incidents, a man driving what appeared to be an unmarked police car conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by a woman.

A woman in Jackson said she was assaulted by the man who stopped her vehicle near B. Whitfield Road and Holiday Cemetery Road. She described a vehicle with a light bar.

"We are in the process of trying to eliminate several reported dark-colored Crown Victorias," said Capt. Rich Lott of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

The Lumpkin County case involved a dark "police style" vehicle with a push bumper, spotlight and blue lights. It happened about 10:30 p.m. near the intersection of Morrison Moore Parkway and Memorial Drive inside the city of Dahlonega.

The description of the suspect also is similar — a white man about 6 feet tall, thin or medium build with short brown hair, possibly in his 20s or early 30s.

Jim Fullington, GBI special agent in charge of the Athens office, said Thursday that a Gwinnett County case from November could also be related.

On Nov. 5, a female driver reported to Gwinnett Police that she was pulled over by a dark blue Crown Victoria on Ga. Highway 141. She said the man told her she could beg her way out of a ticket. She did but then call to report the incident.

If a traffic stop occurs in a remote area that is not well lit, Jefferson Police Chief Joe Wirthman said he can understand drivers' concerns, especially those who are women. But he noted it makes officers nervous and suspicious when someone does not pull over right away.

If you are in doubt the blue lights behind you are that of a real law enforcement officer, Wirthman recommends you slow down and turn on flashers to acknowledge the officer.

"I know you are not supposed to use a cell phone while driving; however, if you are frightened and unsure if it is a real officer, call 911," he said. "They should be able to answer right away if it is a legitimate stop."

Some law enforcement agencies do not use unmarked cars for traffic stops, and those that do often have a marked unit to serve as backup.

Anyone with information about the incidents is urged to contact the GBI Athens Office at 706-552-2309 or the GBI tip line at 800-597-8477.