ANTIGONISH: The RCMP is looking for motorists who may have been pulled over by a suspect driving a replica police vehicle.
Earlier this week, the RCMP arrested a 23-year-old man from Antigonish for impersonation of a police officer, and seized a vehicle.
According to a press release from Antigonish RCMP, their members responded to complaints of a suspect driving what looked like an unmarked police vehicle in the Halifax Regional Municipality and Antigonish County.
Cpl. Mark Skinner, the RCMP’s Public Information Officer, told The Reporter they received three complaints from Antigonish County, on Jan. 6, 10 and 18.
“They all originated from Antigonish County,” Skinner confirmed. “The way the investigation is leading, we believe there may be incidents outside Antigonish County, even as far as Halifax, and even potentially outside that.”
Antigonish RCMP believes the suspect may have used this mock police vehicle to pull over other vehicles.
“We believe there are incidents where he has pulled someone over,” Skinner noted. “However, these three incidents (in Antigonish County), he did not pull someone over. I can’t specifically confirm that he has done this, however, based on the investigation, we believe there are incidents, which is why we want to talk to people about it. The investigation is leading in that manner.”
The RCMP said they arrested the suspect on Jan. 18 without incident at a residence in Antigonish and seized a vehicle matching the description. Skinner said the vehicle was found in a garage on the same property.
“There were some things that set it off from a regular police car but enough that it piqued people’s interest,” Skinner said of the seized vehicle. “Members of the public were able to call it in, we were able to get a plate, and through the plate, we were able to quickly track who the vehicle belonged to and where it was.”
The suspect has been released from custody on conditions and will appear in Antigonish Provincial Court on Mar. 24 at 9:30 a.m.
The seized vehicle was described by the RCMP as a white 2013 Ford Taurus with a white reflective stripe along both sides, a microphone attached to the dashboard, LED lights, and a large black push bar mounted on the grill. According to Skinner, there were also orange lights in the place of red and blue lights.
Skinner said the impounded car “appears to be a decommissioned police vehicle,” but there are differences.
“The vehicle isn’t exactly an exact match of a police car. Number one, the vehicle was being driven aggressively. For example, we’d have a tailgating complaint. You see someone that looks like a police officer tailgating you, but they don’t pull you over, and they speed away. That’s unusual,” Skinner explained. “The vehicle had a white stripe running down the side of it, so normally for an unmarked vehicle, you would not see just a white reflective stripe going down the side of it. You would see that with a car that’s actually fully decaled.” Anyone who has seen this vehicle, or knows of an incident of this nature, is asked to contact Cst. Trevor Arsenault at the Antigonish Detachment at 902-863-6500.