AURORA | An elderly woman who claimed she was pulled over by a police impersonator in Aurora last month has since admitted she fabricated the tale in an attempt to receive more protection from her employer, authorities announced Wednesday.
The woman will not be charged with falsely reporting a crime, a spokesperson for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirmed.
The woman originally told Aurora police that a man driving a Crown Victoria and wearing a blue uniform pulled her over near the intersection of East Sixth Avenue and Havana Street on March 25. She said the supposed impersonator proceeded to ask her why she was out of her home during the then-regional stay-at-home order.
Aurora police issued a warning about the suspected charlatan late last month. But upon checking security camera footage of the area around the supposed stop, local detectives quickly were able to poke holes in the woman’s description of events.
“The investigator then spoke with the responding person again who admitted to making the story up,” Officer Matt Longshore, spokesman for the Aurora Police Department, wrote in an email. “She said she did this because of her attempts to get her employer to provide personal protective equipment or some sort of letter saying that she is an ‘essential employee.'”
Local authorities have repeatedly said that police will not ask residents to provide any sort of written explanation detailing why they are out of their homes.
“You do not need to provide any paperwork or documentation (proving) that your travel is essential,” officials with the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a news release April 8. “There are no checkpoints because of COVID-19.”
Following several reports of police impersonation in recent weeks, DA George Brauchler said the Aurora incident and others have since been debunked.
“Some of the other Colorado incidents reported as impersonators have also turned out to be fabrications or misunderstandings on the part of the reporters,” according to the news release issued by his office.
Still, his office is currently handling a recent impersonation case out of Douglas County in which a self-described bounty hunter pulled a resident over.
Brauchler said his office has charged a total of six impersonation cases in the past three years.
He condemned phony reports of police impersonation.
“Making false reports of crimes is lying, wastes resources and weakens our system,” Brauchler said in a statement. “Pretending to be law enforcement and usurping their authority for any purpose is an attack on the legitimacy of our system. Neither will be tolerated in our community.”
In general, those who believe they are engaging with a police impersonator are encouraged to call 911 while driving to the nearest police station with their hazard lights on, according to Aurora police.