Police search for phony parole officers

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Police were looking Thursday for two men who tried to impersonate parole officers late Wednesday.

About 11:30 p.m., two men went to a house near 3100 South and 6400 West where one of the two residents was on parole.

"These two individuals identified themselves as parole officers. They were wearing black clothing and had some kind of badge around their neck, and a visible firearm in their belt," said West Valley Police Lt. Scott Buchanan. "There was a very short conversation. The two residents did not feel like these two guys were legitimate."

The residents recognized that Adult Probation and Parole officers didn't normally dress like that, Buchanan said. Soon after the conversation turned to whether the man on parole would have to return to prison, the residents called 911 to see if the two alleged officers were really who they claimed to be, he said.

The individuals are described as males, possibly Hispanic, with short dark hair, goatees, in dark black clothing and some sort of nylon belt and firearms. You know, looking to a certain extent like police officers.

–Lt. Scott Buchanan

As soon as the residents called police, the fake parole officers left the house and drove away.

"The suspects saw that they were making these phone calls and asked them what they were doing. And upon learning that police were being contacted, they fled from the house," Buchanan said. "These (residents) actually did the right thing. If anyone has any concerns whether or not it's a legitimate law enforcement officer who's conducting business, they're more than welcome to contact dispatch and verify that. So they did a great job. ... We're just happy that no one got hurt."

The residents told investigators they had never seen the phony parole officers before. As for how the men knew the resident was on parole, Buchanan said that was still being investigated. But he noted there were several ways that information could be obtained.

Read details of the interview with Lt. Buchanan here

Contributing: Shara Park




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