MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s tough to protect yourself if you can’t tell the difference between the cops and the robbers.
A 73-year-old man and his 60-year-old girlfriend fell victim to two gun-carrying fake cops who got away–and now police want to find them.
“We’re dealing with people that want to violate the trust of the community and try to impersonate a police officer in order to commit a crime,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta.
Police want to nab the two men, pretending to be their fellow men of the badge, who instead are nothing more than gun-toting thugs who terrorized and robbed the couple.
According to police, the man was driving to his business, around 7 AM, was driving his white cargo van on SW 8 Street and 88 Avenue. A dark vehicle with police lights went to pull the man over.
“He noticed there was a dark colored vehicle behind him with flashing police lights. He immediately pulled over into the parking lot and that’s when he observed two individuals, with handguns in hand and they pointed them to the driver,” said Zabaleta.
The men, police say, were wearing t-shirts that said “police” on them and had hanging identification around their necks, giving them the appearance of officers. But the man quickly realized they were bad guys when they ordered him to the back of the van and tied him up with rope.
They then drove to the victim’s home on SW 6 Street and 123 Avenue.
“Once they got [to the home], they made contact with his girlfriend who was inside the residence. They also tied her, ransacked the house and they were able to take personal property along with a revolver,” said Zabaleta.
The men took off in the victim’s minivan, a silver 2012 Chrysler Town and Country.
The couple was shaken up but not hurt as a result of the crime.
And while police investigate whether the man was targeted, or whether it was random, they’re looking for leads to catch the police impostors.
“We can now center all of our focus on the people that are taking away the trust of the community by portraying themselves as police officers, and they’re armed, they’re armed and willing to do anything.”
The investigation is being treated as a home invasion robbery involving police impersonators.
Police are looking for the couple’s stolen minivan with plate number 958-JLF.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.