LITCHFIELD, IL (KPLR) - Police in Illinois say a southbound driver on Interstate 55 was gagged, bound with duct tape and robbed after being pulled over by suspects impersonating police officers.
Illinois State Police District 18 spokesman, Trooper Jeff Tenchko, said the incident happened Monday night at approximately 10:15 pm. The suspect pulled over near mile marker 62 just north of Litchfield. The victim was driving a work truck. Tenchko said investigators will still trying to determine whether the victim was targeted or if the suspects committed a random crime.
"He was pulled over by a dark-colored SUV with a single red light in the dash-board," said Tenchko. "At that time 3 black males wearing masks held him at gunpoint and took approximately $5,500 in cash along with other personnel items away from him."
Tenchko said the dark-colored SUV had Illinois plates and was last seen traveling south on I-55 from the scene of the crime. He said the victim described one of the suspects as wearing a blue colored uniform similar to a police officer. Tenchko said the victim did not see any badges.
Police say law enforcement cars typically use more than one flashing light.
"If it's a single light, kind of like the old cherry lights on top of a car, we don't use those a whole lot anymore," said Tenchko.
He also said drivers can always call 911 if they're not sure about the flashing lights in the mirror.
"Feel free to call 911 before stopping," said Tenchko. It is illegal to talk on the phone and drive in Illinois but Tenchko said there is an exception. "It's okay to dial your phone and talk on your phone at that time because it is an emergency."
The suspects face potential charges of impersonating and officer, armed robbery and unlawful restraint.