Alerts were issued by two northwest suburban high schools this week after a student said she was pulled over and searched by what authorities said was a cop impersonator.
The student was driving to school in the area of River and Ballard roads on Monday when she said she was pulled over by a white Ford Crown Victoria, a car commonly driven by police.
"He asked her to step out of the vehicle, handcuffs her, walks her over to the curb, steps her up on the curb and then proceeds to search her vehicle," explained Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner.
Kushner said the "officer" was wearing a light brown uniform with no clear police markings on it.
The student was released unharmed but later said she noticed $20 was missing from her car.
Officials at East Maine School District 63 and Maine Township High School District 207 posted announcements online alerting students and parents to the incident.
The cop impersonator was described as white man who stood about 6 feet tall. He had light brown hair and a muscular build.
If drivers aren’t sure if the person pulling over their car is legitimate, Des Plaines police said motorist should pull over in a public area where more people can potentially witness the stop.
Drivers can also call local police or 911 to verify that they are being stopped by an actual officer.