No charges yet for police impersonator suspect - - Jackson, MS

No charges yet for police impersonator suspect

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HUMPHREYS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The guns are just air pistols. The badges are something you might find in a cereal box. From the LED lights to the walkie talkies, there's nothing special about what officers say 45 year old James Lucas of Yazoo County used to fool others into thinking he was a policeman.

"There's no law against having this stuff. It's what you do with it," says Yazoo County Chief Investigator Tommy Irvine.

And it worked, authorities say, at least to the extent that Lucas was able to pull over two people in Humphreys County near Silver City. In one of those incidents, the motorist said it appeared Lucas had his weapon out, and a high speed chase ensued.

As of Friday afternoon, Lucas was being held in Humphreys County, but he still had not been charged. Detectives are still probing the case, as cop impersonation is only a misdemeanor.

Lucas' Grand Marquis is outfitted with blue lights and a glued-on antenna.

Governor Phil Bryant says, when old police cruisers are auctioned off, perhaps it's too easy for the vehicles to fall into the wrong hands.

"One of the things we have to start looking at is, who do we sell the law enforcement vehicles to when we get rid of them?" he said, when asked by a reporter about cop impersonators.

Investigator Irvine says a Grand Marquis is not a police cruiser. When police vehicles are sold, they're completely stripped down first.

Investigator Irvine says the bigger issue is strengthening the laws to keep police impersonators behind bars. Although Lucas has never before been charged with impersonation, he's been suspected of it in the past.

"As we're conducting the investigation we're finding out this is not the first time he has possibly done this," Irvine says.

If you're pulled over by someone and you're not sure if it's an officer, police advise you to keep driving to a populated area, and call 911 in the meantime to ask if there's an officer in the area that fits the description. 

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