FOUR OAKS – The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a blue light bandit incident reported over-the-weekend near Four Oaks. A teenager was stopped on a rural dimly lit roadway by two masked men with a blue light.
Just before midnight Saturday, a Benson teen was operating her car on Elevation Road when she noticed a vehicle began following her. The vehicle continued to follow as she turned onto Black Creek Road and then onto Packing Plant Road.
As she turned onto Packing Plant Road the car following her, described as a silver Dodge Charger, turned on a blue light on the roof of vehicle. As soon as she pulled over they turned off the blue light.
Two men exited the Charger. They were both wearing black ski masks and black clothing. As soon as the 18 year-old girl saw the masked men begin to approach her car she drove away. She was not harmed.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office took a report about the incident and has stepped up patrols in the area looking for the suspect vehicle. No other blue light bandit incidents have been reported recently.
Blue light bandit cases are not very common. Three incidents were reported in June 2017 in Smithfield and Selma of a white male operating a white Dodge Charger stopping cars on Highway 301. In all three cases the suspect identified himself as a Selma police officer. No arrests were ever made.
In September 2014, a woman was stopped by a police impersonator on Highway 301 South of Four Oaks by two men wearing police style hats and black coats. The 41 year-old victim was unable to give authorities a description of the car equipped with a blue light.
Between March and June 2012, five blue light cases were reported in the Smithfield and Clayton areas involving a dark color Ford Crown Victoria. Some of the victims were robbed at gunpoint after stopping for a flashing blue or red light.
What Drivers Should Do
If an unmarked car with a blue light gets behind your vehicle and you feel unsafe or uncertain it is a real law enforcement officer, you should turn on your flashers and drive to the nearest well-lit public parking lot or convenience store where there are other people around. You can also dial 911 to confirm it is an officer attempting to pull over your vehicle.
Anyone who has any information that might help authorities located the silver Dodge Charger with a blue light involved in Saturday’s incident is asked to contact the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office at 919-989-5000.