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Pueblo area authorities warn public of apparent, threatening deputy impersonation

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says they're aware of an incident involving several men going to a home in the early morning and one of them posing as a deputy.

KRDO

Tuesday, a woman warned neighbors to be alert for suspicious activity by several men, one of whom apparently impersonated a county deputy.

She posted the warning on the social media app Nextdoor, explaining that a man wearing a jacket with a sheriff's office emblem knocked on her door at 5 a.m. on the south side of Pueblo.

The post reads: "He did not identify himself. After looking at video footage, he was wearing a black bandanna over his face, gloves, a ball cap, and was carrying a stun gun."

Nextdoor

The woman said that the man was one of four in a vehicle that stopped outside her home.

"When I did not answer the door, they moved the car to the side of my house and knocked again, this time with a second guy hiding behind the column by my front door," she posted.

She said that at no point did she open the door and called the police after the men left; during the incident, she said that neither she nor the men spoke.

KRDO

"It's a serious situation because you never know someone's intent," said Capt. Clifford Kindred, of the sheriff's office. "One thing I would remind the public about is if someone's at your door and you're unsure about them and they identify themselves as an officer, you can verify that by calling 911. The main thing is if you're not 100% comfortable with who's at your door, the next call should be 911."

Thursday afternoon, the PCSO provided more photos of the suspects and suspect vehicle:

PCSO
PCSO

The sheriff's office said that the man seen wearing a shirt with a Pueblo County Sheriff's deputy patch was with two other men and a fourth person in a white SUV, possibly a Buick Encore.

We, at the Sheriff’s Office, would like the public to know that these individuals are not employees of the sheriff’s office. Our deputies would not wear bandanas over their faces, they would clearly identify themselves, they would have a badge and would have identification to show they are deputies.

Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

According to the PCSO, if anyone questions the legitimacy of a law enforcement officer, they're asked to call 9-1-1.

Additionally, authorities routinely advise people to make sure that someone at their door claiming to be a law enforcement officer is driving an official vehicle and has proper identification.

Pueblo residents reacted to the incident.

KRDO

"I wouldn't have been as smart as that lady," said Arabella Roy, standing beside her daughter, Viola, who live together. "I would have opened the door right away -- and I probably would have been in trouble because when I hear a knock, I automatically open my doors. And that would have been the wrong thing to do. So that lady was very educated and very smart."

Robert Vigil lives near the neighborhood where it happened.

KRDO

"Would I have tried to engage them or keep them there? Yes," he said. "Because we have a security system where we can physically talk to them through the doorbell, and see exactly what they want and get names."

Anyone who knows anything about this incident or knows who these individuals are asked to call the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office at (719) 583-6250. To remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at (719) 542-7867.

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

3 Comments

  1. “One thing I would remind the public about is if someone’s at your door and you’re unsure about them and they identify themselves as an officer, you can verify that by calling 911.”
    .
    Not always true. The Sheriff’s Office should know if it was one of their deputies, but wouldn’t necessarily know if it was a Pueblo PD officer, State Trooper, Parole Office, or an LEO from any other department.

    1. I’m pretty sure that 911 would be able to obtain that information based on details provided by the caller. That would include cross-checking with other agencies.

      1. They could try, but there are far more law enforcement agencies in the area than those I listed, and calling each takes a lot of time. The risk is, at what point does the dispatcher give up on calling and tell the citizen it’s not a real cop? The citizen might then feel the right thing to do would be to pull out a gun to defend themselves again an “imposter”, only to be shot and killed by what turns out to be a real cop at the door. It’s a difficult situation. It would be nice if the District Attorneys would take these crimes more serious than they do, but they don’t.

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