Stolen WSP equipment could lead to trooper impersonation

Stolen WSP equipment could lead to trooper impersonation »Play Video

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- An opportunistic thief made off with several items from a unmarked Washington State Patrol Car while it was parked at a Federal Way hotel on Monday, and police say the missing equipment could be enough for someone to impersonate a trooper.

The car, which was parked at a Marriott Hotel along I-5, belonged to a WSP detective based in Spokane. The detective reported the break in at 9:30 a.m.

According WSP Sgt. Jason Hicks, the thief took a black 511 tactical jacket that has removable Washington State Patrol patches with markings that say "WSP" and "detective" across the front and back.

Also taken was a flashlight and ammunition magazine clips for a .40 caliber pistol.

"Is it possible that someone can try to impersonate one of us using this equipment? yeah. Are they going to get away with it? Probably not," Hicks said.

He said anyone who is suspicious can always ask a trooper to show them their badge and commission card, which has their name and photo on it.

"It's very very rare for us to conduct a traffic stop just in regular pants and just a jacket. It's generally going to be one of us in an entire uniform," he said.

Hick also says state troopers rarely knock on someone's door to issue a search warrant by themselves.

"That's a red flag, generally we won't serve a search warrant alone" he said.

Federal Way Police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock says her department is investigating and warns people that nobody is immune to a crime of opportunity.

"It was an unmarked vehicle and vehicle prowls are one of the more popular property crimes, fortunately the detective had is gun with him," Schrock said.