New Orleans, LA – A group of armed men impersonating law enforcement officers stole a gun and other belongings from motorists during fake traffic stops on Monday night, according to police.
The three male suspects were riding around in a white Ford Explorer equipped with red and blue lights in the front grille and windshield, the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) said in a press release on Tuesday morning.
At least one of the suspects was wearing a jacket bearing an NOPD badge and a face mask with a department badge patch.
The first robbery occurred near Stephen Girard Avenue and Louisa Drive at approximately 11:45 p.m., according to the NOPD.
After stopping the unsuspecting driver, the suspect with the NOPD-style clothing approached the motorist and asked him for his license and insurance, according to police.
He also asked him if he had any firearms in the car.
The victim handed over his green Taurus handgun, which the suspect referred to as a “91G,” according to police.
He told the victim he needed to go check the serial number on the weapon and returned to the SUV, then sped away with the driver’s gun.
URGENT PLEASE SHARE: NOPD Searching for Armed Robbery Subjects/Vehicle Used to Impersonate Officer https://t.co/FZ1oHsWWJ6
— NOPD (@NOPDNews) December 8, 2020
Approximately 30 minutes later, a similar incident occurred in the 1700-block of North Dorgenois Street, The Times-Picayune reported.
The 31-year-old victim of that robbery said that a white Ford Explorer with no license plate cut him off in traffic before three armed men jumped out and told him they were police officers, according to WGNO.
They took the driver’s property and fled the area, The Times-Picayune reported.
Details regarding the items taken during the second robbery were not released.
NOPD released photos of two men and the suspect vehicle on Tuesday, and asked for anyone with any information about the SUV or the suspects to contact the department.