Suspect arrested for attempted kidnapping, police impersonation

Images

  • Svetich booking photo

Fort Collins Police detectives have arrested a suspect for impersonating a police officer and trying to lure two teenagers into his vehicle.

In late 2021, two teen girls reported that they were walking together in a south Fort Collins neighborhood around 2 am An unknown man, later identified as Justin Svetich, 39, approached them in his car. The victims described the vehicle as a black, four-door sedan with a rideshare driver sticker in the window. They said Svetich got out and tried to convince the girls to come with him. They refused, and he told them he was a police officer. The girls asked to see his badge, but Svetich said he didn’t have one with him and instead showed a concealed escape. He claimed to be concerned for their safety since it was late and told them to get in his car. One of the girls activated the emergency app on her cell phone and told him she was calling police, at which time Svetich got in his vehicle and left.

Patrol officers canvased the area but did not locate any people or vehicles matching the description. Detectives took over the case, and through their investigation, identified Svetich as the suspect. He was arrested on charges of Second-Degree Attempted Kidnapping (2 counts, class 4 felony) and Impersonating a Peace Office (class 6 felony). A booking photo is attached courtesy of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

“These young women did exactly the right thing by listening to their instincts, asking to see a badge, and ultimately calling police,” said Assistant Chief Tim Doran, who leads the Criminal Investigation Division. “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.”

Anyone with additional information about this or other incidents involving Svetich is asked to contact Detective Stuart Music at 970-416-2575. People who wish to remain anonymous can also contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.

All charges are simply an accusation by law enforcement officers, and all parties must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.

What should you do if you’re stopped by someone and you’re not sure if they’re actually the police?

    • Call 911. Dispatchers can help determine if the person stopping you is actually an officer.
    • If you’re driving, activate your hazard lights. This tells the person behind you that you’re aware and taking action, and it also draws the attention of other passing vehicles.
    • Only stop in a well-lit, public area.
    • Remain respectful but cautious.
    • Ask to see a badge or identification. FCPS officers also have business cards that you can request.
    • If you’re concerned for your safety, tell the 911 dispatcher and follow their instructions. Your safety is important to us.
    • Try to remember as many details as possible about the person who stopped you and their vehicle so you can provide that information to police.

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