CHICAGO — For the third time this month, a man posing as "Officer Franklin" robbed someone while pretending to conduct a criminal investigation, police said,
It's uncertain if the latest incident occurred at the hands of the same man believed to be responsible for two similar robberies, said Officer Jose Estrada, a police spokesman, noting there could be copycats pretending to be the police impersonator.
In the third theft, the "officer" told a 41-year-old man to get into his light-colored SUV at 11:10 a.m. Saturday in the 7000 block of South Justine Street in West Englewood, Estrada said.
The driver moved the car to the 8000 block of South Oakley Avenue in Ashburn, and told the man to empty his pockets and get out of the car.
The victim walked away unharmed, while the suspect—described as a black man in his 40s who is 5-foot-8 tall and weighs 170 pounds—made off with an unknown amount of cash.
In the similar incidents, a man, who identifies himself as a federal officer named Agent or Officer Franklin, pulls over in a tan SUV with temporary license plates to talk to pedestrians, according to a community alert issued Friday.
The man convinces victims to get into his car "under the guise of a criminal investigation," according to the alert.
The man then drives the SUV several blocks away, parks, pulls out a semi-automatic handgun and robs the victim, police said.
In the latest incident, a gun was not shown, Estrada said.
The robberies occurred 2:10 p.m. Tuesday in the 8100 block of South Paxton Avenue and 3 p.m. Sept. 15 in the 7700 block of South Colfax Avenue, the alert said.
In the community alert, the impersonator is described as black, 40-50 years old, 6 feet tall and weighing 250 pounds. He is bald with sideburns that grow into a goatee or mustache. He does not show police credentials or wear a uniform, police said.
He was last seen driving a tan SUV, possibly a late model Mercury Mountaineer, with temporary plates.
The car used in the latest incident might have been a Mountaineer or a Toyota SUV, Estrada said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 312-747-8273.