Middletown PD: Teens in convertible are impersonating police officers

Posted at 8:52 AM, Jul 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-23 18:46:45-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- A group of teenagers appears to be driving around Middletown, impersonating police officers and pulling people over.

It's not only a crime, police said: The teens could be putting themselves in danger.

The group, described as four white males, is traveling in a blue or gray convertible. It has some sort of light on the dashboard, and a loud speaker and air horn.

Middletown police got four calls about the teens July 18 and 19. At least two people did pull over for them. 

Detective Jon Hoover said it would have to be a "very extreme" circumstance for him to stop someone in an unmarked car.

"In the state of Ohio, you have to be in a marked unit to stop somebody, unless it would be a shooting or a homicide that just occurred or something like that ... where somebody’s life is in danger at that moment," Hoover said.

Impersonating a police officer is a misdemeanor offense in Ohio, punishable by up to a year in prison. If someone impersonates an officer while committing another crime, it rises to a felony offense.

Maj. Leanne Hood worries the teens might pull over someone who could harm them, whether that driver has been using drugs, is mentally unstable or has a weapon.

"They probably think it’s funny, but then when something happens to them or they get in trouble, that’s when their opinion is going to change," Hood said.

Anyone who sees the teens or the vehicle should call dispatch at 513-425-7700, option 0.