THOMASVILLE — A motorist did what most people do when they see a vehicle traveling behind them with lights flashing.
A man was traveling at night on Hall Road when a vehicle approached him from behind with amber, white and blue lights flashing.
"He pulled over," said Capt. Tim Watkins, Thomas County Sheriff's Office chief investigator.
The man said a white male and a female with a dark complexion walked up to his vehicle and told him he had a tail light out. The man and woman wore uniforms of some type, but the man did not see a badge.
They were traveling in a light-colored SUV with brush bars on the front.
"It was a guy and a girl posing as police officers," Watkins said.
The impersonators could have had robbing or assaulting the man in mind, or they might have planned to steal his vehicle, Watkins said.
The victim checked the rear light. It was not out. He told the couple his father was employed by Thomas County government, and they left.
Watkins said anyone approached by a vehicle with lights that resemble those on law enforcement vehicles should drive to a well-lighted area and pull over. If they do not feel safe, they should call 911 to ensure the stop is legitimate.
A would-be victim could drive to the Jail-Justice Center and call 911 while en route.
If a stop is not legitimate, 911 will dispatch help.
"Call when they activate the lights," Watkins said.
Thomasville Maj. Shane Harris said the Hall Road incident must be addressed in the interest of public safety, adding that the sheriff's office and police are conducting an investigation.
Impersonators might be seeking a sense of power, or they might plan to harm the motorist, the officer explained.
"Only one incident has been reported, but even one reported incident is alarming," Harris said.
Motorists should turn on four-way hazard lights and reduce speed along with other precautions, such as driving to a well-lighted area and calling 911.
Harris pointed out that the police department and sheriff's office both have unmarked vehicles.