How to protect yourself from fake cops

Man impersonating police officer assaulted woman in Tulare County
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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There have been reports of people impersonating police officers and pulling people over in the Bay Area and central valley recently. In Visalia, located in Tulare County, that led to the sexual assault of one woman on April 26, according to ABC News. Local law enforcement officials say while they haven?t heard of fake cops pulling people over in the Auburn-area, there are safety precautions people can take to protect themselves. Officer David Martinez, spokesperson for the Auburn California Highway Patrol, based in Newcastle, said the precautions are simple, but potentially life saving. ?You never know if it?s a police officer or not, especially at night,? Martinez said. ?That can be dangerous and that has happened.? Martinez said from a law enforcement standpoint it is usually easy to identify if someone is running from the police or not. He said any discerning officer wouldn?t fault a person for driving into a well-lit area. He offered these other tips: ? Go to a well-lit area before you make a decision to stop. ? If you are worried it is not a real police officer pulling you over, call 911 and explain to them the situation and you believe it?s possible you are not being pulled over by a real police officer. Martinez said you can use your cell phone if you are calling 911 for an emergency. Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.