Police urge caution after elderly couple falls victim to police impersonator

Police urge caution after elderly couple falls victim to police impersonator
(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a shopping trip last week, an elderly Kailua couple in their 80s was followed home by a man impersonating a police officer.

The husband and wife, who did not Hawaii News Now to use their names for safety reasons, say the man in a black SUV pulled into the driveway behind them.

"He accused my husband of driving erratically, I objected, and I asked who he was," the woman said.

The fake cop flashed a patch that had the letters "HPD" on it. "I thought it was a policeman or an undercover, and I said, are you an undercover policeman?" she said. "He didn't say yes, he didn't say no."

The man adds, "We should have asked for a card and a badge."

The officer then asked for a glass of water, which is when the couple let him into their home.

After a few minutes, they say, he politely left.

And more than an hour later, the woman noticed her wallet was missing.

On Monday, a 95-year old man in Hawaii Kai also got a visit from someone pretending to be a police officer.

Sgt. Jerome Pacarro, of the Honolulu Police Department's community police team, said the impersonator told the victim he wanted to install a surveillance system on his home.

"Being suspicious of this, the victim refused to open his door and kept the door locked," Pacarro said.

The fake cop eventually left and the man called 911.

Pacarro says the elderly are often targeted because they are trusting. But, he says, people in Hawaii generally are welcoming to strangers.

"We live in the Aloha State, we try to accommodate people as much as possible but we have to remember that there are people that are trying to victimize us and we do have to protect ourselves," he said.

Pacarro also said he can't say for sure if the same impersonator committed both crimes.

The elderly couple described the impersonator who victimized them as bald, thin and clean shaven. They estimated he was about 5-foot-10.

Pacarro said HPD officers should always be able to show a badge and an HPD identification card with a picture on it. Most officers who visit a residence will also be in uniform.

Pacarro says if you're still not sure if it's a real officer at your door or pulling you over, call 911.

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