Unmarked cars warning to Essex drivers after vans stolen

Blue lights
Image caption The fake police officers wore uniforms and had blue lights on their unmarked cars

Drivers are being warned not to stop if an unmarked police car tries to get them to pull over after two vans were stolen by fake officers.

Essex Police issued the warning after the vehicles were stopped on the M11 and the M25 recently and stolen.

The thieves, dressed in police uniforms and, in one incident, carrying a handgun, used blue flashing lights.

Officers have been told they should not pull people over when in unmarked cars unless it is an emergency.

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Det Ch Insp Stuart Smith said: "We have taken this decision to safeguard motorists in Essex while these offenders remain outstanding.

"Our victims have told us that the suspects are purporting to be police officers and are wearing body armour to further enhance this deception in order to steal these vans.

"Anyone who is signalled at to stop by someone in a car which may appear to be an unmarked police is asked not to stop but to call 999 immediately to verify whether the vehicle and its occupants are genuine."

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