A Shuswap woman driving home from Kelowna was pulled over recently only to discover it was not in fact a real RCMP vehicle.
Heading back from the Kelowna Animal Hospital shortly after 2 a.m. April 13, Highway 97 was quiet. But she came upon a slow moving pickup truck travelling northbound in the slow lane near Bailey Road on Highway 97. After passing the truck, she noticed a vehicle coming up fast behind her with red and blue lights flashing, so she pulled over.
“Once I was stopped I realized it was that same vehicle that I passed, it was not a police truck,” said the woman, whose name is withheld for safety purposes.
“I sped off and they took off in the opposite direction toward Predator Ridge.”
RCMP confirmed that it was not an unmarked police vehicle and are actively investigating.
The vehicle is described as a newer model, white, Dodge Ram truck with a dark canopy and red and blue “dome” lights on the roof of the driver side and no front license plate.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is asking motorists to take the following actions if they have reason to believe they are being stopped by a non-legitimate police vehicle:
Slow down, drive in a safe manner to the nearest well-lit, populated area;
If this is not possible, do the following:
• Lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your vehicle running;
• If you have a cellular phone, take it out immediately, hold it in full view of the person who has pulled you over and call 911;
• Calmly give the 911 operator your location and express your concern;
• Ask the 911 operator/police dispatch if they have had any communication with a police officer about a traffic stop in your area;
• Ask 911 to relay your concerns to that law enforcement officer;
• Tell the officer, through a cracked window and locked door that you plan to cooperate, but you have heard about police impersonators;
• Indicate that you are concerned for your safety and that you are verifying the police contact through dispatch;
• If you remain uncertain that the person who pulled you over is in fact a police officer, ask him/her if you can proceed to a more populated area;
• If he/she agrees, tell the 911 dispatcher where you are heading to and proceed.
The incident remains under investigation and police are asking anyone who may have information that would assist investigators to contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171 and quote police file #2022-5785.