CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Two Cape Coral teens are accused of impersonating police. The incident happened Wednesday night in the area of Tropicana Parkway and Chiquita Boulevard.
Police say the teen suspects used their high beams and a smartphone playing a video of flashing police lights to get the victim's attention. We aren't naming the suspects because they are under 18.
"This was just an opportunity to use a common cell phone technology in a different way," Sgt. Dana Coston said.
It's something Coston says may just be a stupid prank. But, in other cases, he says, suspects have shown more sinister intentions. "There are a lot of people who have done this in the past who purchased red flashing lights or blue flashing lights or a combination from police supply stores or off the internet," Coston said.
So, how easy is it? WINK News checked the website, Uniform and Accessories Warehouse. Just type in a few lines of information and you have a police badge, complete with the Florida seal! But, a spokesperson tells us they require background checks, badge numbers, even letters from Chiefs before they ever process a sale like this one.
Hamilton's Uniforms in Fort Myers which also sells public safety gear tells WINK News it's the same case there. No ID, no sale.
But just because these stores won't sell doesn't mean you can find them elsewhere. With a quick search, we found a Florida deputy sheriff's badge for sale, a police siren and the flashing LED lights to go with them.
We even found a collectors site selling a Cape Coral Police badge. Still, they require buyers to register and agree to never use the badge for illegal purposes.
Bottom line: there are impostors. When in doubt, call 911 and they can help you figure out who's real is who's not.