KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) — A car was impounded in Putnam County because Kanawha County deputies say the vehicle was equipped with unauthorized emergency lights.
According to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy made a transport to Putnam County and was returning back to Kanawha County on I-64 when a dark-colored sedan flashed emergency blue and red lights at him.
The deputy thought the unmarked cruiser seemed suspicious, so he followed it and coordinated a traffic stop with Nitro Police.
KCSO said the man driving the vehicle was not a police officer, and he told the deputy that he purchased the vehicle from a recent police auction. However, out-of-service police cruisers cannot be sold with emergency equipment still installed, according to the sheriff’s office.
The car was towed, and KCSO said it will be held while an investigation is conducted. The driver was issued a citation, and the case is now in the hands of the Putnam County Prosecutor’s office, according to Nitro PD.
KCSO said police do use unmarked cars and wear plain clothes at times, but they say that drivers should immediately call 911 if they feel uneasy about a traffic stop. The dispatcher can tell you if you are being pulled over by a legitimate officer. They also say to try to pull over in a well-lit location, and, if a traffic stop seems suspicious, ask the officer to produce a badge before rolling down your window or exiting your vehicle. They say to keep 911 on the phone with you until the stop is verified.