Local News

Fake police officer robs Benson driver

Posted April 10, 2012

— A man posing as a police officer robbed a driver on Interstate 95 near Benson Thursday, marking the third time in several weeks this has happened to drivers in Johnston and Cumberland counties.

Chester Tart, 71, of Benson, told authorities he was driving south on I-95, near Interstate 40, when a man driving a dark blue or green Chevrolet car with a blue light on the dashboard pulled him over around 11 a.m.

The man approached Tart's vehicle, accused him of speeding and said he would not write a ticket if Tart paid him $200 in cash. Tart said he paid the man the money, drove away and called police when he got home.

Tart said the man was in his 30s, about 6 feet tall, was wearing a brown shirt and had a gun on his hip.

Authorities are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information. 

Drivers can call 911 to verify traffic stop Drivers can call 911 to verify traffic stop

Patrol Captain Danny Johnson of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office said drivers have options if they are worried about the authenticity of a police stop.

"Turn on your emergency flashers, and, if you're in question that this might be someone impersonating a law officer, you can call 911," Johnson said. "Give them your location and the description of the vehicle behind you the best you can, and also pull to a well-lit area or populated area if feasible."

People posing as police officers robbed two drivers in late March near Benson and in Fayetteville, but authorities said there was no indication the cases were connected. Tart said the man who robbed him was white. The suspects in the earlier cases were described as black men.

The first robbery happened on I-40 near Benson, where a driver said a man in a black Ford Crown Victoria with flashing blue lights and a gun on his hip pulled him over and stole his cash.

The next day, two men posing as officers robbed a Fayetteville woman driving home from work around 10:50 p.m.

Keionta Hinton, an assistant manager at Church’s Chicken, told police she was heading down Yadkin Road to deposit some money from the restaurant. A blue Crown Victoria with flashing blue lights on the dashboard pulled in behind her and stopped her on Santee Drive, she said.

Two men got out of the car, and one put a gun in her face and stole the restaurant's money, according to police.

19 Comments

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  • UNC81 Apr 12, 10:20 a.m.

    Barbowd - in this day and age, everyone should have a cell phone. Concerned about the price? Get a prepaid. You can get a TracPhone for $10. Don't have any money? There are government programs that supply phones to low income households. If you can afford a car, you can afford a phone.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Apr 11, 2:20 p.m.

    This is the very reason our trusted law enforcement should not be allow to use anything except a well know style of police car & with NC markings.
    No SUV, CORVETTE, unmarked cars blah blah blah.
    This is horrible. We are taught to obey an officers request but how do we know we are dealing with an officer--when our officers are doing everything they can to be undercover. SHOW YOURSELVES...STAND OUT ! Some crazy person will end up following this bandit...

  • barbowd Apr 10, 5:53 p.m.

    What are you suppose to do if you do not have a cell phone .I think that it is highly presumptuous to think that everyone owns a cell phone.Especial in these trying economical times.

  • Alexia Apr 10, 3:59 p.m.

    "quit driving unmarked cars and that will solve the problem." --carroln

    I agree with that point. I can appreciate the need for unmarked cars in valid undercover work or for officers who are not doing safety patrol (e.g, an investigator on his way to a crime scene), but there is no reason for using unmarked cars when trying to catch speeders. There are enough places to hide as it is, so no need to blend in with the traffic flow to wait for somebody to make a mistake. Further, I think there must be better things to do than watch traffic all day.

  • carroln Apr 10, 1:36 p.m.

    quit driving unmarked cars and that will solve the problem. There is no need to try and trick someone into thinking you are not a cop. If the cops use trickery then that is entrapment isnt it? After all the cops are the ones you need to watch anyway. Most of them are wearing blinders and picking up a check.

  • CestLaVie Apr 10, 1:33 p.m.

    Hope someone is able to get car tag numbers real soon, as the perps drive off.

  • Alexia Apr 10, 12:48 p.m.

    Hehe, these fake officers should go over to Chapel Hill, because they can't even call 911 when driving to ask if a suspicious car is a real police officer or not.

  • Scubagirl Apr 10, 12:33 p.m.

    "If you get pulled by an unmarked car at night,call the police and report it. southerntalent"

    Would also suggest, slowing down, turning on flashers, and call 911 BEFORE you pull over
    They will know if its real or not, or at least can find out.

  • southerntalent Apr 10, 12:24 p.m.

    If you get pulled by an unmarked car at night,call the police and report it

  • pooodaddy Apr 10, 11:47 a.m.

    Its a good idea to know where your local police stations are.

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