ELYRIA, OH (WOIO) - Elyria Police are looking for a man who reportedly dressed up as a police officer and robbed a Washington Avenue resident.
According to a police report, the incident happened just after 1 a.m. outside of an apartment building in the 200 block.
Officers in the area were flagged down by a woman who told them her boyfriend was just robbed in the parking lot at gunpoint. According to the victim, the male was robbed by an unknown person wearing a white mask over his face and a hat that said "police."
The suspect was dressed in all black and wore a police badge around his neck. According to the victim, the suspect started yelling "Police! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!"
At first, the victim said he thought the man was a real police officer until he was ordered to empty his pockets and had his cellphone and car keys taken. The victim was able to throw the suspect to the ground at some point and broke free, running away toward the apartment.
The suspect left the area in a white Nissan Versa that was parked near them in the parking lot.
Nick Fox lives down the road.
"It's kind of sad how people will impersonate law enforcement and make them look bad. I mean they do their job every day, risking their lives for us to be safe," Fox said.
It hits closer to home for Kevin Teggart. He lives in the apartment complex.
"I have a four year old daughter, obviously we're in bed at that hour but it's concerning that it's around here. Our police officers are great for the city of Elyria. And it's a shame that people are out and about doing this stuff," he said.
You can buy fake and even real police badges and uniforms online.
In some cases, criminals dressed as police even try to pull people over on the road.
If you realize the car is unmarked and something doesn't seem right, don't be afraid to ask the officer to see credentials or have him call another officer to the scene.
You can even call 911 to verify while keeping your doors locked.
"You don't know what will happen after that to you and your family, how far they'll take it. So it's a very serious concern and hopefully they catch the guy," Teggart said.
If you're caught impersonating a police officer, it's a misdemeanor in Ohio.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Elyria Police Department at 440-326-1200.