Maury Co. Search Continues For Yellow Camaro Police Impersonator
by Janet Kim
COLUMBIA, Tenn. - A multi-agency search is underway in Maury County for robbers in a yellow Camaro pulling over victims to rob them, but it hasn't stopped them from trying to strike again.
"It's certainly a dangerous situation; we have a team of investigators working diligently on this," said Columbia Police Lieutenant Joey Gideon.
Since the start of the investigation, law enforcement in Maury and surrounding counties have been stopping vehicles matching the description.
Ben Brancheau just bought his yellow Chevy Camaro last week. Since then though, he hasn't just been pulled over once but four times. Sunday night, he said he had picked up a pizza with his girlfriend when he soon found six or seven actual law enforcement officers chasing him down on Saturn Parkway.
"Last night was the worst of it; they pulled me over from Columbia, I put my hands out the window, opened the door and walked out with my hands up, and they patted me down and everything, and I was at gunpoint on that one," said Brancheau.
Investigators said there have been two successful robberies so far, and just this weekend two more attempts. One was on Friday around 10:00 at night on Highway 43 near Williamsport Pike, but the would-be victim though did not stop and the yellow Camaro drove off.
"Due to the media coverage, he felt like this wasn't a legitimate police officer," said Gideon. "He did not stop for this car; he called police."
Another incident was reported Sunday around 6:00 in the evening. The driver reported he was already pulling over for car problems when the yellow Camaro with a flashing blue light pulled in behind him.
"When they noticed the yellow car was behind them and the blue flashing light, they turned on their overhead dome light to display there were two people in the car, and at that point the yellow car left the scene," said Gideon.
However, as long as the fake cops are out there, police said they will remain vigilant.
"We are making investigatory stops, and our officers are making a lot of field interviews and voluntary contact with people just to establish whether they may be offenders or not," said Gideon. "Anyone we have stopped have been 100 percent compliant."
And Brancheau knows he just may get stopped yet again.
"I know they're doing their job and they're trying to catch the bad guys so I'm fine with it," said Brancheau.
Columbia Police Department has put together a flyer and posted on its Facebook page. Investigators are not only looking for a yellow Camaro but are now expanding their search to other yellow sports cars like the Ford Mustang, Chrysler Challenger and Dodge Charger.