GROTON--Police are warning residents and asking for help to find a person who has been driving a fake, unmarked police car.
The Groton Town Police Department reports that the individual was seen driving recklessly in town on Monday morning. The car is believed to be a dark green Honda CRV from the late 1990s or early 2000s.
The car has sirens and red and blue flashing strobe lights in both the front and back of the car. However, there are no markings on the Honda or license plates that would indicate that it is a police car.
Groton Police said Patrol Officer Chris Hoffman first spotted the car at 8:40 a.m. at the intersection of Newtown Road and Fort Hill Road.
"He heard sirens," said Lieutenant John Varone of Officer Hoffman. "He didn't recognize the sirens. He had not heard anyone responding to anything or anyone dispatched to it."
Lt. Varone said the CRV was driving so erratically, Officer Hoffman could not even pull it over. "That vehicle had vanished. That's how fast it was going. The vehicle was in excess of 85-90 mph."
A Groton school bus camera then picked up footage of the SUV on Fort Hill Road. The footage shows the SUV cross the double-yellow line to speed pass the school bus just ahead of a dangerous curve in the road.
"The driver was out of control," said Lt. Varone. "He thought he was a TV star-type of cop."
He added that police officers and emergency responders receive extensive training to drive in emergency situations and would never demonstrate such reckless behavior.
Lt. Varone said the driver has not attempted to pull over anyone, but the car has also been spotted driving erratically in Waterford and Norwich.
Groton Police recommend calling 911 if you feel uncomfortable being pulled over by an unmarked car.
"Pick up your cell phone and dial 911," said Lt. Varone. "Tell them who you are, where you are and that you're being stopped. They'll be able to tell you, 'Yes, that is a police officer. Please pull over.'"
If you are unable to call, Lt. Varone recommends driving slowly until you are able to pull over in a busier area.
If you have had any interaction with the car, or if you have any information, please call Officer Hoffman at 860-441-6712 in reference to case number 15-2980-OF.