Warning from police: beware law enforcement impersonators

The Honolulu Police Department wants you to be on alert for impersonators.

Last Friday, a Kailua couple told investigators a man followed them home, claiming he was an officer. He went into their home, and a wallet was taken.

Then on Monday in Hawaii Kai, a man claiming he was with HPD told a homeowner he wanted to install an alarm in the house. He wasn’t allowed inside and left.

Police say while these cases are rare, they do occur, so always keep your guard up.

The Kailua couple, who asked not to be identified, says it happened Sept. 23. A man claiming he was an officer followed their car home, saying he was following up on reports of “erratic driving.”

“This man was incredibly nice, trustworthy looking,” one of the victim saids. “I said, ‘Who are you?’ He didn’t say anything. He just showed me a small little patch on his belt that said HPD.”

The couple says he invited himself into the home, stole a wallet, and charged nearly $1,000 in a matter of hours.

Three days later, a similar incident happened in Hawaii Kai.

“A local male approached a residence, knocked on the door, relayed he was an officer with HPD,” said Sgt. Jerome Pacarro, Honolulu Police Department.

The impersonator told the 95-year-old victim he wanted to install a surveillance system in the home, but the victim did not let him in.

“For these kind of situations, please, please keep the door locked, and talk through the peephole through the door,” Pacarro said.

How can you spot a real officer from a fake? Ask to see ID, not just a badge. HPD officers are issued one with their picture on it.

If you’re still not sure, you can call 911 to verify with dispatchers if this person is telling the truth.

A uniformed patrolman can also be called to the scene to verify if the person is indeed an officer.

Police say because Hawaii is the Aloha state where people tend to accommodate others, it’s easy for residents to forget that there are some out there with criminal intent.

No suspect has been arrested.

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