Man faces charges; police say he impersonated officer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids man faces charges after police say he impersonated an officer


A Cedar Rapids man faces charges after police say he attempted to impersonate an officer.

Officials say a woman and her child flagged down a police car in the 1400 block of Mt. Vernon Road SE. The woman said a man in a black Dodge Durango claimed to be a police officer and told the woman to get into his vehicle. She refused to get in the truck.

Officers spotted the truck nearby and tried to stop it in the 1500 block of Mt. Vernon Road, but the driver turned on his emergency flashers and continued down the street. The driver finally stopped for officers in the 900 block of 19th Street SE.

59-year-old Robin Helgeson, the driver of the truck, was taken to the hospital for chest pains and then arrested. He is charged with impersonating an officer, failure to have a valid driver's license, and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Officials say not all law enforcement vehicles look like a police car. Unmarked police cars have red lights in the frill of the vehicle or on a visor. No unmarked car will try to stop you using only emergency flasher lights.

If you are driving and an unmarked police car tries to stop you, you should find a safe location to stop your car, preferably on a well-traveled street or in a parking lot with adequate lighting. Lock your doors and crack your window as the officer approaches. If the officer is in plain clothes, officials say you should ask to see some identification. If the person stopping you, can not show identification, try to get as much information about the person and the vehicle as possible, drive off in a safe manner, and call the police department and report the stop. 

For people in Linn County, non-emergency numbers for law enforcement are:
Linn County Sheriff's Department           319-892-3911
Cedar Rapids Police Department             319-286-5491
Marion Police Department                   319-377-1511
Hiawatha Police Department                           319-393-1212
Mt. Vernon Police Department               319-895-6141
Lisbon Police Department                   319-455-2452
Iowa Highway Patrol Post 11 & 12 CR area               319-396-4414

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