A Manitoba man was arrested after twice entering Waywayseecappo First Nation earlier this month by impersonating a police officer and driving a former police cruiser according to a press release by the Manitoba First Nations Police Service (MFNPS).
Waywayseecappo, like many First Nations, have put in place safety and security measures during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep people out.
The community is located roughly 300 km northwest of Winnipeg.
The reasons why are still unknown.
According to police, the man who police are not naming, first entered the community on May 8. The a 45-year-old male again arrived at Waywayseecappo on May 13 and again passed through a checkpoint in a white Ford Taurus with bars on the windows.
“The vehicle could easily be mistaken as a police vehicle as it had ‘Police Interceptor’ badging and bars in the rear windows,” said a release from the MFNPS.
The man said he was a police officer and was there to visit, although it is not known where or what he was doing in the community.
He returned to the same checkpoint a short while later and asked the female attendant at the checkpoint for identification.
The suspect also stated he wanted to search her but then drove away saying “just kidding” according to the MFNPS.
Inspector Dave Scott with the MFNPS said something like this is very concerning.
“If he made an effective arrest or something to that and you know it turns into somewhat of a kidnapping. He made a comment to security personnel, a female lady at the check stop that he wanted to search her and then he said ‘just kidding’ and drove off,” he said in a phone interview with APTN News.
“So those kind of things are concerning to us of course and we’re very happy that we apprehended this guy.”
Security managed to get the license plate of the car and police were able to track him down
MFNPS, along with RCMP, went to Rossburn, Man., a mere 10 minutes from the First Nation and arrested the suspect.
They found a 2014 retired police vehicle equipped with bars on the windows and also a set of plug in red and blue LED lights.
Scott said the man more than likely adjusted the vehicle.
“He would have fabricated the windows. I’m confident that the vehicle, any police agency, and I know for our police service we do take everything out police related from the vehicle and that may have been the case and he may have fabricated these pro guard bars for the windows,” Scott said.
The suspect was charged with personation of a peace officer and released.
He will appear in court at a later date.
“We certainly don’t want these people in the community that aren’t there for a good cause. Usually any RCMP member or other police agency contact us if they’re coming into our community and in turn we would contact security,” said Scott.
“I would suggest that the people of the community, if they see anything suspicious, vehicle representing a police unit that they haven’t seen around before to contact the police service in their community and certainly that will help the situation and we can stop this kind of thing from happening.”