KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT)--Officials in Kingston are worried a police impersonator is preparing to strike after someone stole several THP badges from a police supply store. Someone could be using stolen badges to committ more crimes and that has investigators worried.
Trooper Lt. Don Boshears says, "They are badges and they do look just like what I'm wearing."
The biggest and most dangerous get. Four real trooper badges and there's more like handcuffs, flashlight and a safety jacket. All stolen from A-1 tactical store Thanksgiving night. The ripoff happened as owners moved the business to Harriman. Kingston Police Investigator Sam Bolden says, "They could potentially pass themselves off as a THP officer and that's not what any of us want."
But look carefully. There is a difference. The stolen badges say chaplain where the rank is marked. So if someone approaches you don''t just rely on the badge as proof the officer is legit. Remember a real trooper drives a marked car, wears a uniform which is hard to come by and carries a commissioned ID card. So make sure you ask to see that to make sure. Bolden says, "People have been pulled over by folks impersonating an officer and people have been killed."