Warning out about group impersonating law enforcement officers

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SARASOTA COUNTY - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office wants residents to be cautious following a report that a group of individuals impersonated law enforcement officers in north Sarasota.

A Sarasota couple reported being pulled over early Saturday near 17th Street and Dodge Avenue by a black 4-door sedan, possibly a Dodge Charger or Chevrolet Impala, with chrome rims and a red and blue light bar in the windshield. The male victim was ordered to get on the ground, but when the female victim was ordered out of the car she noticed scratches and damage to the front end and remarked that it was not a real police car. The suspects fled.

The suspects are described as three black males in their 20’s or 30’s wearing black shirts with the word “SHERIFF” on it, black boots and black pants. They had two wooden stock shotguns and a gold semi-automatic handgun with a black grip.

Anyone with information on this crime, the suspects involved or the vehicle is encouraged to call Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4900, leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers, 941-366-TIPS (8477), online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).

Motorists who are concerned about being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle should call 911 to let the call taker know what is going on, give your location and have that person provide directions on what to do. They can confirm if you are being pulled over by a legitimate law enforcement officer, and if you are not, dispatch units to that location immediately.