BALTIMORE (WJZ)– There have been a series of violent attacks by people claiming to be police officers. They have badges, handcuffs, and guns, but they’re not the good guys.

Monique Griego has more on the growing trend.

At this point, police don’t know if all the cases are linked together but they are almost identical in their intense level of violence and the brazen lie suspects are telling their victims.

On the streets of Baltimore City, criminals are using a new weapon to attack.

“Preying on the trust of victims,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore Police Department spokesman.

Police say groups of men are impersonating officers to get inside homes across the city to rob them. The frightening trend started in July when houses in Federal Hill and Ednor Gardens were targeted. Victims were beat up or shot.

“That scares the pants off of me,” said a neighbor.

“I just went and bought a dead bolt that locks from both sides,” Jennifer said.

And just before 3:30 a.m. Thursday, detectives say three men barged into a house on the 2800-block of Hilldale Avenue shouting “police raid.” They handcuffed three residents, then scoured for valuables. When one man broke free, a suspect shot him in the face.

“If they are and you don’t do what they say, you’re in trouble,” said Nakia Green of Northwest Baltimore. “If you do what they say and they’re not, you’re in trouble. So what are you supposed to do?”

Investigators say the suspects were even dressed like officers, one man had a badge. So WJZ asked police how people can tell the difference between what’s fake and what’s real.

“Individuals who don’t have a history, prior contact with police, officers will not randomly break down your door and announce a raid,” Guglielmi explained. “That’s not how business is conducted.”

Police say their best advice is to use your gut and to call 911 if something seems sketchy.

“Scared to let any of them in now,” said Warner Sappington of Northwest Baltimore. “You gotta show more than a badge now.”

Police have arrested at least one person in connection with the attacks but everyone else, including the ones from Thursday morning’s attack, are still out there. Police are asking for your help to catch them.

Police say the suspects in Thursday morning’s case fled the scene in a silver vehicle.

Comments (24)
  1. Kimberly Blackwell says:

    thats one of the main reasons im protected by smith n wesson 24/7 shoot first and ask questions later

    1. Jack Pollack says:

      Way to go,Kimberly. Do you keep the gun next to you when you sit on the sofa and watch TV? You’ll never get to it in time and you’ll end up getting your arse shot off.

      1. Real Deal says:

        Yea Jack Polilack but at least she is doing something to protect herself. Just because you are anti-gun doesn’t mean our country should gp communist.

  2. smucktelly says:

    it’s really cool how they are so creative

    1. baltimore resident says:

      won’t think that when your next

  3. skeptical says:

    How do we know this isn’t a few cops new side job?

  4. Ed says:

    Look out for fake unmarked cars that look like police, but may not be. Call 911 and drive to the nearest police station before you stop.

  5. Jim says:

    smucktelly, it’s really cool how you’re such an idiot.

  6. Matt says:

    Maybe one day will can elect some people with brains who will allow honest citizens to legally carry firearms for their own protection from these thugs.

    1. Jeff says:

      I agree about carrying, but what does that have to do with this situation. You can legally have a gun in your home, which is where all this is happening. If a cop comes to my door and I open and they stick a gun to my head. Carrying a gun will do nothing for me at that point, except get me shot in the head when I reach for it. If you open the door with a gun already drawn and pointing it at them and it’s a real cop, then your either going to get shot or go to jail, or both. It’s a tough situation when someone is impersonating a cop.

  7. Jack Pollack says:

    You’ll just be giving these crooks a gun and you a hole in your face. Just cooperate and be alert.

  8. Georgeanna Modlin says:

    I hope the police find them and kill them right away.

  9. Chrissy says:

    What is this world coming to?Fake cops pulling woman over and raping them and now fake cops breaking into peoples homes.So much for “protect and serve”.You can’t even be sure anymore if the police are there to help or hurt you anymore.

  10. Paddle says:

    These naughty people deserve a good spanking

  11. Shot in the dark says:

    I’ll just shoot and deal with the consequences later no matter what the outcome is. At least a homeowner has made a point of not being a victim.

  12. john says:

    this is the reason we need camera’s in very streets

    1. Leigh Ann Erdman says:

      So big brother can watch you, no thank you.

  13. Leigh Ann Erdman says:

    911=Smith and Wesson .38. Enough said.

  14. Fact says:

    These are not Impersonators.

    They are Actual Cops.

  15. your dream says:

    silly Willie, no one takes you seriously! LOL!

  16. divat says:

    Such things do not happen if you tell a uniformed person to say what do you want and stay outside .

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