Police: Suspects wanted for impersonating law enforcement in string of Cleveland robberies

Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 11:26 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland police on Saturday said they are looking for individuals responsible for impersonating police officers in a string of aggravated robberies.

Officials said the incidents are occurring only with “private, unmarked” vehicles, and none of the robberies occurred with a marked Cleveland police car. Police also said there are no Cleveland police cars that have been reported stolen.

Cleveland police Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said there have been four incidents in the last month where the alleged suspects stopped unsuspecting victims by using red and blue strobe lights before robbing them at gunpoint. Ciaccia said suspects brandished “an AK-style rifle”, among other firearms.

  • At approximately 2:20 a.m. on March 7, police said a man was stopped by a vehicle traveling on state Route 2 by a car displaying emergency lights near the West 45th Street exit. The suspects exited the vehicle, which police said could be a dark colored Honda Accord, and robbed the victim at gunpoint.
  • At approximately 9:34 a.m. on March 28, a man was pulled over by a dark colored Jeep Grand Cherokee that was displaying emergency type lights in the 15200 block of Lakeshore Boulevard and was robbed at gunpoint.
  • At approximately 11 p.m. on March 31, two people were pulled over by a Volkswagen SUV that was displaying emergency type lights in the 3200 block of West 65th Street and were robbed of property at gunpoint.
  • At approximately 3 a.m. on April 1, police said an unknown number of suspects driving a Kia Sportage displayed emergency lights to pull over an unsuspecting victim in the 3000 block of West 48th Street and stole the victim’s property and their vehicle, a 2019 Dodge Charger, at gunpoint. The car was found less than a mile away from the incident.

Police said anyone with concerns of being pulled over by an unmarked vehicle should call 9-1-1 to confirm the validity of the traffic stop.

Officials confirmed the string of robberies are still under investigation.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.