At around 10:30 p.m. Friday night, police said four people in a gray Dodge Caliber executed a car stop in the 1300 block of Ramsay Street.
“Once they approached the car, at least in the first case, they searched the car they had flashlights, so they had no reason to believe they weren't anything but police except for the fact that the robbery took place afterwards,” said Baltimore City Police Detective Donny Moses.
They took $400 from that driver then found their next victim at around 4 a.m. at the intersection of Russell and Hamburg Streets. The driver had already pulled over due to a flat tire.
“The suspects pulled up behind the motorists as if they were police, as if they were trying to help him and ultimately robbed him as well,” said Detective Moses.
The victims weren't hurt but police said in at least one instance the suspects were armed and wearing black tactical vests that had the word “agent” across the front.
Police patches are sold online and in local stores, but at MD Police Supply Store, identification and training certificates are required to purchase certain items.
“Anything that says 'police' on it like our t-shirts or our hats, we would ask to see police identification,” said store owner Katina Salisbury. “We make sure the handcuffs are going to the right place, batons are going to the right places especially with weapons, of course, everywhere you have to have proper ID to buy a weapon.”
Not every shop or online retailer follows the same protocol but Salisbury said it's something they've always done to better serve the public and law enforcement.
“We give them other alternatives. You can go to Toys “R” Us and then we've had [people say], 'Well, I really want to look real.’ Well, the only problem with really looking real is if you're unable to help somebody who need a police officer, you put that person in danger,” Salisbury said.