Danger in disguise
Special Report: Danger in disguise
It was a day Arianna will never forget.
She says two men - in full police uniform - one was driving this car - pulled her over.
Arianna said, "I'm not sure what i had done - I wasn't going that fast."
Arianna thought the officers were rude. They also weren't real.
Luckily the fake cops let her go after noticing her baby boy in the back seat.
"It all looked legit to me."
He could have had me in cuffs and put me in the back of the car. These are the things that were going through my head.
"It's just scary," she said.
And 7News found something that makes this even scarier:
We were shocked to see just how easy it is for anyone to get a real police uniform - badges and all.
We went undercover and did some shopping at a Massachusetts police supply store.
Our producer told the shopkeeper he wasn't a cop.
Still he got to try on and buy a shirt, hat, jacket - a head-to-toe police uniform.
The owner even offered to sew on police patches and the most controversial of all:
He sold us two police badges.
He never asked to see any kind of i-d.
So it's not difficult at all to go from ordinary citizen -
To wanna-be cop. And it only cost us $200 for everything.
I went up to a woman dressed in the fake uniform and said, "I'm Phil Lipof, I'm not a cop."
And she said, "You're not? You like one."
A man said, "That definitely looks real."
State Senator Stephen Brewer - who's on the public safety committee - was surprised too, and said, "That's incredible. You guys have raised something that has got me thinking here."
After 9/11 - with all the increases in security that have been made - you might think it would be illegal to get this stuff if you aren't a real police officer.
But the law isn't clear.
Changing the law now would take time.
But there are things you can do if you think the person trying to pull you over is a "danger in disguise."
If you don't feel safe stopping - put your hazards on and drive slowly to a well-lit area.
Dial 911 on your cellphone- the state police will answer - explain to them what's going on
If you are stopped-
Ask the officer for his or her id, badge number and department.
We can't say every Massachusetts police supply store would sell uniforms and badges to anyone who walked in.
But that is exactly what happened at the first store we went to.
(Copyright (c) 2006 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)