On at least two separate occasions last month, a man posing as a police officer went through wallets and ran off with people's money, real officers say.
The man has twice displayed a badge while purporting to be a police officer, a community alert from Harrison Area detectives said.
"The safety of the community is one, first and foremost. Secondly, it's a black eye to us because that's what it looks like. It looks like we have one of our own taking advantage of the community, which is not so in this situation," said Cmdr. Berscott Ruiz.
The robber reportedly stops his victims, conducts field interviews and searches them. He then asks the victims for their identification, removes money from their wallets and runs away, the alert said.
The police impersonation incidents happened July 1 in the 3100 block of West 26th Street at about 4:30 p.m. and on July 7 in the 2600 block of South Spaulding Avenue. The first victim was a 24-year-old while the second was a 22-year-old man, the alert said.
The suspect is a black man between the ages of 28 and 45. He stands between 5 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs between 160 and 190 pounds, the alert said. He has short black hair and a medium brown complexion.
"If you see something, say something," said Ald. Ricardo Muñoz (22nd).