SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – Two Santa Rosa men were arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of impersonating police officers as they drove in their vehicle that was equipped to resemble a patrol car.
A female driver informed the California Highway Patrol around 2:20 a.m. that a suspicious vehicle was trying to make traffic stops on northbound U.S. Highway 101 near the Penngrove exit, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
The driver said the white Ford Crown Victoria was driving in excess of 90 mph, pulling up behind vehicles, activating a siren and advising drivers over a loudspeaker to pull over, Sloat said.
CHP Officers Arthur Hernandez and Anthony Dixon intercepted the Ford when it exited the highway at Yolanda Avenue in Santa Rosa.
They found the vehicle was equipped with a front “push bumper” and external speaker to resemble a police car, Sloat said.
The officers also found a light and siren control unit in the car, Sloat said.
The officers re-contacted the driver who called the CHP by phone. She said the two suspects in the car pulled alongside her vehicle, activated the siren and pointed to her to pull over, Sloat said.
The woman said she didn’t pull over because she felt something wasn’t right, and the suspects accelerated and got behind another vehicle, Sloat said.
The woman said she lost sight of the Ford, but later saw it had pulled over a Ford Focus on the right shoulder near Hearn Avenue, Sloat said.
The CHP officers identified the passenger in the Ford Crown Victoria as 21-year-old Alex Israel Lemos and the driver as Raymond Salazar, 26, Sloat said.
Both men have extensive criminal records and they were booked into the Sonoma County jail for impersonating a peace officer, Sloat said.
Lemos also was on probation for a DUI conviction in September, Sloat said.
California law requires motorists to yield to the right only when there is a vehicle with a steady burning red light behind them, Sloat said.
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