OPP looking for man pretending to be police officer, stopping drivers

WELLINGTON COUNTY – Local police say they are not stopping vehicles for reasons related to COVID-19 after they received complaints of someone impersonating an OPP officer.

Wellington County OPP officials say they “received complaints about an individual impersonating a police officer and stopping people to check their ‘essential worker’ status.”

During one incident on April 14, a driver provided the man posing as a police officer with the information requested and the impersonator returned to his vehicle and left the scene.

“The OPP is not conducting random traffic stops to check motorists’ work status during the COVID-19 pandemic, nor are drivers required to prove they are an essential worker to police,” stated acting Wellington County OPP Inspector Paul Richardson.

Police describe the impersonator as a white man, 30 to 40 years old, with short dark hair in a brush cut and some unshaven facial hair.

He was wearing a black long-sleeve shirt and what police describe as “a ballistic vest with the word ‘POLICE’ in yellowish-orange letters across the front, but not the back.”

The suspect vehicle is described as a black four-door sedan, possibly a Ford Fusion or Ford Taurus, with a blue strobe light on the dash and a small aerial antenna on the trunk.

Police say anyone stopped or approached by an officer in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle can ask for the officer’s identification or request a uniformed officer be present.

“Those individuals should also call 911 if they have reason to believe the person is not a police officer,” police stated in the press release.

The OPP did not immediately reply to an Advertiser request for more information, including the number, time/date, location of incidents.

Anyone with information can contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip online at csgw.tips. Tip providers may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.