CLEARWATER, Fla. - Clearwater police arrested a Largo man for impersonating a police officer and pulling a woman over on her way to work, and it's the third time he has been arrested for the same thing.
Police said 35-year-old Todd Jeffrey Blumencranz was driving a silver car with red and white lights on the mirror and dashboard when he pulled the woman over for speeding on March 17.
The victim spoke with FOX 13 News Friday, and said she was skeptical the whole time.
"He walked up to the car talking on his headset along with his iPhone," the woman, who did not want to be identified, recalled. "He said, 'you know you were speeding...' I was like, 'no, I didn't, but if I was, OK.'"
Police said the man pulled her over at Belcher and Nursery Roads and told her he was an off-duty police officer on his way to work. He took her license and pretended to communicate using an earpiece, police said. He also had a clipboard with him.
"He went to the car, stayed for five minutes. (He) said, 'you don't have any warrants and here's you license back,'" she recalled. "It was so creepy and he was stuttering real bad, and he didn't give me eye contact. So I knew it was suspicious."
She went to work and called police. She said he "let her off with a warning." She later was able to identify Blumencranz as the suspect.
"I'm really scared because I don't know his motive... What is he doing? Is he trying to kill someone? I have no idea," she said.
Police said a law enforcement officer will always have blue lights facing forward, which is Florida state law.
"When we want to stop you, we want you to know it's us behind you," explained Officer Richard Edmonds with Clearwater PD. "If you see one small light, especially not a blue light, probably not a police officer."
Edmonds added, anyone concerned about who may be pulling them over is asked to continue driving at a normal speed while calling 911 to verify the person behind them is an officer.
"If you think something don't feel right and you're scared for safety, we advise you to proceed at a normal speed. Don't speed up. Don't run lights. And get yourself to a well-lit area while calling 911," Edmonds said.