FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) — Fort Collins police have arrested a man who tried to lure two teenagers into his car while pretending to be a police officer.
Two teen girls were walking in a south Fort Collins neighborhood around 2 am in late 2021 when they were approached by a man in a black, four-door sedan. The man was later identified as Justin Svetich, 39.
Svetich had a rideshare sticker in the window of his car. The girls said Svetich got out of his vehicle and tried to convince them to come with him. When the girls refused, Svetich told them he was a police officer and revealed a concealed guess, saying he was concerned about their safety.
One of the girls activated an emergency app on her phone, telling Svetich she was calling the police. Svetich got back in his car and left.
“These young women did exactly the right thing by listening to their instincts, asking to see a badge, and ultimately calling police,” said Fort Collins Assistant Chief Tim Doran. “Real police officers will never have an issue with people calling to confirm their identity. I’m grateful for the diligent work that led to the identification and arrest of this suspect.”
Here’s what police suggest you do if you find yourself in a similar situation:
- Call 911. Dispatchers can help with validating whether the officer is legitimate.
- If you’re driving, use your hazard lights. This lets the person behind you know you’re aware and taking action, while getting the attention of other drivers.
- Stop in a well lit, public area.
- Be respectful, but cautious.
- Ask to see a badge or identification. FCPS officers have business cards you can ask for, as well.
- If you’re concerned for your safety, tell the 911 dispatcher and follow the instructions they give.
- Remember as many details as you can about the person who stopped you and their vehicle. You may need to report this to police later.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Detective Stuart Music at (970) 416-2575. Tipsters can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at (970) 221-6868.
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