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Blue light bandit victim: 'I was just robbed at gunpoint'

Posted April 12, 2012

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— Johnston County sheriff's officials released a 911 call Thursday from a fourth person who was robbed by someone impersonating a police officer in recent weeks.

"I was just robbed at gunpoint," said Bryan Promish, 26, who told the dispatcher he was stopped on U.S. Highway 70 West near Ranch Road just after midnight Thursday. "I got pulled over, went to reach in the glove box to get my registration, turned back, and this guy was like, 'Give me the money out of your wallet,' and he took that and my laptop."

Promish said the man was black, about 5 foot 7 to 5 foot 8 and about 160 pounds. He was wearing a tan or brown collared, button-down shirt and was driving a blue Ford Crown Victoria with a flashing blue light.

"I didn’t see where he pulled the gun from," Promish told the dispatcher. "Once the gun was in my face, all I was focused on was the gun and doing exactly what he asked me to do."

A 49-year-old Benson woman reported a similar incident Tuesday morning, saying that a man driving a dark-colored Ford Crown Victoria with a flashing blue light pulled her over around 5:45 a.m. while she was on her way to work. 

The man told her she was speeding, took her license and registration, walked back to his car and then returned, giving the documents back to her. 

She described the man as black, standing about 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds and wearing a tan shirt. That description was similar to a March 25 encounter on Interstate 40 near Benson, when someone driving a similar car pulled over a man and robbed him of $600.

In that case, however, the victim reported that the so-called officer had a gun.

Another stop happened around 11 a.m. on April 6 on Interstate 95 near the I-40 interchange, when a 71-year-old man says he was pulled over by a white man driving a blue or green Chevrolet with a blue light on the dashboard. He was robbed of $200.

The Johnston County Sheriff's Office is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information can call 919-989-9000. In the meantime, authorities say, drivers have options if they are worried about the validity 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," said Capt. Danny Johnson with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office. "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."

Police blue lights Fourth police impersonation case reported near Benson

33 Comments

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  • ladyblue Apr 13, 2012

    I sure hope they find them. the one near ranch road in clayton area is on my driving range and i honestly think until he is caught I will not stop if pulled by unmarked car until i am around someone. i'll put onflashers drive slow until i find a safe place. I rather have a ticket for failing to stop than robbed at gunpoint. i hardly carry cash on me so they would probably shoot me.

  • cwood3 Apr 13, 2012

    Piene2-you are a real trip!! You don't seem to trust anybody except Obama (he's the last one in the country I would trust)!!
    There LEOs are men and women out on our roads willing to die for you and me, and you talk about them that way.

    You may be correct that theis is a LEO getting his thrills. Or it could be a former LEO who was fired!

    The problem is if this bandit is not found soon, someone is going to do something stupid, and people will get hurt-possibly killed!!

    I know Sheriff Steve Bizzell is one this case -big time. Deputies have their radar up-way up. So does the NCHP. They don't need this bandit loose.

    Avoid this area-Clayton's 70 bypass-I40 in JoCo. I assure you that if I get stopped, I will not stop without hearing a siren with lights. Even then, I will be talking to 911 or *HP.

    LEOS-lets get this guy quickly-please!!

  • ligonmaterial23 Apr 13, 2012

    I like the orange GTO wake forest has , they are burning some tail with that one

  • bcde Apr 13, 2012

    I have heard that if it is a true LEO, then if you retain the normal speed, and go to a service station or place of business before pulling over that they will have no problem with this. As a women, unless it were something like a checkpoint where there are lots of officers checking registration and ID, if I were alone in a car that would be what I would do. I don't think if they would try to give you a resisting arrest charge, but if they did, I would think it wouldn't hold up in court.

  • Life-goes-on. Apr 13, 2012

    The problem I see is that not pulling over as soon as the LEO thinks you should could result in you being charged with running from the law and your car being sold at auction.
    What this impersonator needs to realize is that more and more of us are gun carrying citizens and its only a matter of time before he pulls the wrong person over. I'd call 911 before I pulled over but would have my hand on my pistol just in case.

  • thepeopleschamp Apr 13, 2012

    "I still think there is a high probability that it is some real cop masquerading as a non cop masquerading as a cop. After all, if he is caught, he will most likely be let go by his cop pals." piene2

    If you turn out to be correct I will give you my pay check for this month. And when you are proven wrong I'm guessing you wont have much to say.

  • thepeopleschamp Apr 13, 2012

    "LEO have generally cowed the citizenry into submission, suggesting helpful laws like these [and more] to be passed by the very willing legislature. Generally, it is safer to pull over submissively and be attacked by a fake LEO than to make a real LEO and his "support staff" in the prosecutors office unhappy with you. Their definition of a "good" person is a meek person who respects "the rules" they make." cushioncritter

    What a bunch of babbling non-sense. You speak as if LEO's are from Planet X and not also citizens. If LEO's had such an easy and willing legislature they would have long ago gotten things that are more important to them, such as reducing 30 year retirement, more money, and better benefits (just like everyone else wants).

  • dsalter Apr 13, 2012

    Unless it's changed, in Georgia, every unmarked car had the seal of the law enforcement agency displayed on the door. Also were the words..."Highway Patrol" or whatever. The cars were different colors and there was no way to tell they were law enforcement until you were passing one and saw the seal. That should be done here as well on any working traffic. Various colored cars with no top light bars give plenty of surprise without one being completely unmarked. The road is full of police surplus Crown Vics now and there are still plenty being used by cops everywhere.

  • piene2 Apr 13, 2012

    I still think there is a high probability that it is some real cop masquerading as a non cop masquerading as a cop. After all, if he is caught, he will most likely be let go by his cop pals.

  • JAT Apr 13, 2012

    Could they use the signs and stuff along that area telling people not to stop for blue lights between 9pm and 7am and to proceed to the closest open place and stop there?

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