Police Look for Victims of Alleged Police Impersonator | News
LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas police are looking for more victims of a man who allegedly impersonated a police officer.
Police say 32-year-old Ryan Patrick Johns was arrested on May 7 on an outstanding warrant for open container in a vehicle. He was arrested after his car was impounded and an employee of the towing yard noticed it was equipped with red and blue flashing lights, a siren, and contained a handgun, handcuffs, and a badge that resembled those worn by Metro officers.
The suspect's neighbor Amanda thought it was odd when she saw emergency lights in Johns' SUV. "Then, they disappeared off the dash. They never appeared there again… I thought it said LAPD… Glancing quickly, it could have been LVMPD," she said. "It is very alarming."
Police say within the last 14 months, officers received two complaints of a dark colored SUV flashing red and blue lights in an apparent attempt to stop female motorists. In each case, the vehicle fled the area prior to the arrival of officers. Both incidents occurred on Sahara Avenue, between Town Center Drive and I-215.
Investigators believe Johns used his vehicle to impersonate an officer and are investigating those incidents, but he has not been charged and is not in custody.
Drivers never want to see flashing red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror late at night, especially if the person pulling you over isn't in law enforcement.
"Ninety nine point nine, nine, nine, nine percent of the time, when an unmarked vehicle is pulling you over, it is being driven by a police officer," said Metro Police Officer Bill Cassell.
If you have cause for concern, police have recommendations.
"If you are in an area, say late at night, there's no one around, and you're just a little bit nervous about what's happening, go ahead and turn on your four-way flashers, acknowledge the officer's presence, and then legally drive to an area where there are other people," Cassell said.
Cassell says asking to see the officer's badge or ID is acceptable. You can even have a marked unit called.
Police believe Johns may have attempted to stop other drivers who may not have reported their encounter with him. "We believe this person probably tried to pull over other individuals. They may not have reported it," Cassell said.
Johns' vehicle is described as a gray, 2008 GMC Yukon with Nevada license plates 737WTN.
Anyone with any information or who may believe they have encountered Johns is asked to call Metro's Criminal Intelligence Section at (702) 828-3251 or Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.