Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Reply: Bad guys pretending to be Cops

Anonymous said...
In Europe there are 60000 robbed lorries each year.

Europe will get poorer and poorer. Don't come here.

What should one do if stopped by fake police on a road?!

Man, wish I had all the answers.
I can only give you my experience and what I do.

Sometimes these guys have the uniforms, the guns, some traffic cones and signals, which can all be bought, but there’s not enough cops, or there’s no patrol car.

If the post looks suspicious, I just take off. Don’t speed away, I just pretend I’m looking somewhere else and don’t stop.
They’ll look for someone else to bother and ask for bribes, or if they want to rob you, they’ll get another victim.

This is risky because you can get shot, like it happened to a motorcycle driver that got shot in the back of the head (died). But then again, I doubt a honest cop will start shooting at you just because you were distracted and failed to see him.

I’ve talked to others and was surprised to find out that a lot of people do this as well. We’re all honest citizens, but the "fake cop stop" thing has been done a lot so we sometimes have to do this and rather fall on the side of caution.

Problem comes when they are real cops and real criminals as well, like yesterday when cops stopped 3 robbers in down town Bs As, that turned out to be Federal cops robbing a shop with their issued sidearms!!

recon said...
FerFAL, I was outside the other day trying to light a smoke, and the wind kept blowing out my BIC. One more reason to carry a Zippo.

I'm also curious about the fake police situation. In America, we have about 4 base models of vehicles used for police work, but there are a few others that are discrete and you can only tell they're cops by the flashing lights(under cover). Are there similar types of undercover vehicles in Argentina, and if so do they do traffic stops like the ones here? Thanks

Different patrol cars yes, and sometimes that can be confusing because on occasions criminals get their hands on one and rob people pretending to be cops.

My advice: If things get very bad in terms of crime in USA, then don’t stop if the traffic stop doesn’t look right, look the other way or that you ar somehow distracted while talking with a passenger.
A real cop will take your number, maybe make a call and other patrol cars will block your path ahead, but at least you avoided a potential robbery.

Again, it sucks, but you cant go through life getting our of the car and asking “ Sir? You don’t look quite like a cop, nor do your buddies, is this a setup?”
If your gut feeling and instinct tells you it’s a trap, then you’ll have to decide for yourself right there if you stop or not.

Another good way to avoid it is get close to the car in front of you, a bit to the left, using it as cover when you drive by.

A stop in a desolated road in the middle of nowhere?
Heck, why are they even stopping people there? Just turn around 180 and leave as soon as you see it.



Anonymous said...

"Problem comes when they are real cops and real criminals as well, like yesterday when cops stopped 3 robbers in down town Bs As, that turned out to be Federal cops robbing a shop with their issued sidearms!!"

What happened then?

FerFAL said...

You are SOOL.
You learn to not trust anyone much, including cops.


PmaCaiman said...

In Panama in the 1980's the PDF,Panama Defense Force,traffic police made up the payroll using such tatics. You knew that around the 10th and 25th of the month they would be out there doing inspections, etc and you always had the choice of paying cash on the spot or going to court and paying the additional fees. The PDF had not taken up other forms of robbery yet. Pmacaiman

PmaCaiman said...

Ferfal, Having gone through some problems during the US boycott of Panama in 1988-9 I am very uncomfortable with what I see happening in the USA right now. I have made some precautions, food,etc and would like to discuss some ideas/questions with you should you have time. I'm sure that in the next few years or less we are going to go through what you Argentines are still going through. All our children live in the US and if the US has a cold, Panama will have pnunomia so moving is out of my options. Your advice has been very good and reasonable, I hope people are taking advantage of your experience. Yours, Pmacaiman/ Stephen Bellofatto S2bello@mchsi.com

Anonymous said...

Hi FerFAl,
Very interesting to read your first hand accounts. Thanks for putting in all the effort.

I'm a motorcyclist and I'm wondering how many people still ride motorbike there? I take it is a pretty bad idea but there may be exceptions. It would be easy to find escape routes but you would be so vulnerable to objects getting thrown at you. I like to read your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

while I was living in Alabama, US, there was a series of robberies on roadsides by criminals pretending to be police officers.

they had a fake cop car, uniforms, etc.

ultimately they were caught I believe, but in the meantime, the accepted practice was just to keep driving until you got to a well light, well traveled area. (like a popular gas station or something)

Crystal said...

In America cops advise that if you suspect someone is not official police it is perfectly okay to keep driving (safely) until you reach a well-lit public area or to call 911 and ask the dispatcher if the car following you is really a cop. If they tell you, "yes, that is an official police car" you can explain that you were just scared and if they say that "no, that's not an official unit" they'll be able to get honest cops to your location.