For the second time in several months, Sandy police say an African American male has pretended to be a police officer gaining access to the inside of a home. And once inside, police say the suspect ties his victims up and lets two others inside and then rob the home.
"We have the trust of the public we want to uphold and we want to help him as quickly as possible," says Lt. Justin Chapman of the Sandy police department.
And that trust by a young man may have cost him dearly.
Police say he was tricked by someone impersonating a police officer who came knocking at his door early Friday morning.
"A black male in his late twenties or mid-thirties was acting as if he was a police officer and requested entrance into the home," says Lt. Chapman.
Police say the suspect, an African American man, claimed he had questions about an investigation police were conducting in the area.
And once inside the cop impersonator tied the victim up and let two others inside.
They then robbed the home.
"They are terrified," says a family friend who did not want to be identified. "Michael seems to be doing fine. To my knowledge he was not (hurt)."
The family friend says he’s horrified that someone would pretend to use the police department as part of their ruse.
"If they have a badge and ask for access everybody would do the same thing," the family friend says. "(It) makes one nervous. It puts everyone on alert."
Sandy police say a suspect matching the same description did this to an elderly couple last summer.
"He showed them a badge and then once inside tied them up and robbed them," Lt. Chapman says.
Police say two other suspects also entered the home of the elderly couple. Lt. Chapman says homeowners can ask questions of any person claiming to be a police officer.
"You can look at their badge, check to see if they have a police car," he says. "And you call also call dispatch to see if they have an officer in the area going door to door."
In Friday's case, Lt. Chapman says two neighbors saw a suspicious vehicle in the area about the time the home invasion occurred.
"We're looking for a lighter gray mini-van," says Lt. Chapman. "It may be about ten years old."
If anyone has information, contact the Sandy police department.