SUGAR LAND, Texas – An investigation was under way Monday after two people and a Houston police officer were reportedly pulled over by police impersonators.
The Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders Unit has a police impersonator squad that investigates cases like this. The unit said the number of cases it handled in 2011 hit an all-time high.
Just a few weeks ago, the unit arrested Miles Michael Lacy. The 22-year-old, who once played football for the University of Houston, allegedly tried to pull over a man on the Katy Freeway. But it just so happened that man was an off-duty HPD officer. He called police headquarters using his radio.
"I don’t know what he was trying to do," said HPD Officer E.V. Skinner.
Skinner said he identified himself to the suspect and then wrote down the suspect’s license plate number. Patrol officers arrested Lacy a short time later.
Skinner said he gathered as much evidence as he could, because he knew the suspect could possibly hurt someone and needed to be stopped.
"If something happened to anybody out there tonight I would have considered it my fault because I had the opportunity to do what I did that night," Skinner said.
In a separate incident in Sugar Land, two employees at The Fish Place said they were followed and eventually pulled over by police impersonators after closing up the restaurant for the night.
The suspects were wearing constable jackets.
One of the victims, who wished to remain anonymous, said he and his coworker were handcuffed and placed into the backseat of an unmarked Chevrolet Malibu, equipped with flashing law-enforcement lights.
"They said they want money, the first thing. Then they said they want the keys. He said if we give him the keys everything will be OK. If not, we will kill you," the victim said.
The victim said the police impersonator wanted the keys to The Fish Place. After getting pistol whipped, he gave up the keys, and less than an hour later, the money locked up inside the restaurant was gone, the victim said.
Surveillance cameras at the apartment complex where the victim lives captured the suspects’ vehicle. The white Malibu had paper plates.
Anyone with information about the case in Sugar Land, or any other police impersonator cases, is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.