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Roseville, Calif.- A parolee was arrested Monday evening on suspicion of making a traffic stop and falsely identifying himself as a police officer.

At 5: 15 p.m. on Monday, March 3, a 24-year-old Roseville man reported that while he and two male passengers were driving north on Fiddyment Road, a green Ford pickup started following them closely. The pickup, which emitted a siren, followed them as they turned onto a residential street off Morningstar Drive. The pickup driver confronted the Roseville man and started to yell at him. The pickup driver was not wearing a uniform, but he wore a pistol or replica pistol in a belt holster, identified himself as a police officer, and demanded to see the Roseville man’s driver’s license, insurance and vehicle registration.

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The victims asked the suspect to show his police badge and identification, and he refused. The victims also asked the suspect why he had a personalized license plate on his pickup. Finally they told the suspect  that they didn’t believe he was a real police officer, and the suspect got into his pickup and drove away.  The vicitms then called Roseville police.

Officers traced the pickup to a residence in Lincoln, where they contacted Sean Lawrence Gilbert, 31, of Lincoln.  Gilbert was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer, driving without a license, and parole violation. He is being held without bail in the Placer County Jail.

Some police officers work in plain clothes and drive unmarked cars, and occasionally make traffic stops or stop people for questioning. Real police officers will have a badge or other form of official identification. Real police vehicles, including undercover vehicles, will have at least one solid red light.  Here are some steps to take if you are stopped by someone claiming to be a police officer, and you feel concerned or uncomfortable:

If you’re in a vehicle, slow down and activate your hazard lights to notify the officer you are complying with the request to pull over.  Then, with your hazard lights activated, drive slowly to the closest public, well-lighted area.

You may ask to see a police badge or other identification. If the person does not show you police identification, use your mobile phone to call 9-1-1.  Ask the dispatcher to verify that a real police officer is stopping you.  If dispatchers are unable to verify the officer’s identity, they will send a uniformed officer to your location.

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