Maybe it was the red and blue lights on top of a Toyota Prius that prompted a skeptical call to Turlock police when the hybrid attempted to pull the driver over.
After the call, real police began checking the area of Countryside Drive and W. Monte Vista Avenue for the suspicious car, but couldn’t locate it initially.
Then, two hours later, an officer pulled over a red Prius. Inside were 20-year-old Saul Rodriguez and 18-year-old Michael Reynolds, police said. Also inside the car police found red and blue emergency lights, police said. The young men were subsequently taken into custody.
Police used the incident as an opportunity to remind the public that if they believe they are being contacted by someone impersonating a police officer to contact 911 if they feel like their life is in danger.
“As a citizen, you can ask for identification from a police officer or contact that officer’s department to verify their employment,” officials wrote in a Facebook post. “If you are stopped while driving your vehicle by an unmarked police vehicle, pull over in a well-lit and or well-populated area. If the person who has stopped you is wearing plain clothing you can ask for either a supervisor or for a fully marked patrol vehicle to respond to your area.”
However, police also took the moment to remind the public should someone try to run from an officer without justification, it could result in a criminal charge.