MANCHESTER – A Manchester man has been charged with impersonating a police officer following the Oct. 21 incident by a resident who was followed by an unmarked vehicle.
Salvatore C. Giglio, 51, of Manchester was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer, possession of a personal self-defense chemical agent (OC spray) in excess of the legal limit, destruction of evidence, and various motor vehicle offenses.
“Although she believed that the vehicle may have been an unmarked police car, she considered the vehicle suspicious because it did not exactly resemble a traditional police vehicle,” stated Manchester Police in a press release.
The vehicle flashed red and blue lights in what was believed to be an attempt at a traffic stop, according to the resident, who managed to snap a photo of the vehicle and posted it to social media following the incident.
Manchester Police determined the vehicle did not belong to the department, launching an investigation.
“Within one day of the social media posting, the agency received several tips from concerned citizens. In following up those tips, a vehicle matching the photograph and description of the suspect vehicle was located in the Pine Acres Manor section of the Township,” stated the release.
The vehicle was identified as a 2005 gray Ford Taurus registered to Giglio.
On Oct. 23, police contacted Giglio at his Manchester residence and found that the vehicle has been altered since the initial photograph, the front grill lights and metal window shield having been removed.
Police charged Giglio and seized the vehicle as accidence of the crime.
Manchester Police urge anyone who has experienced a similar incident to contact Detective Sergeant Christopher Hemhauser at 732-657-2009 ext. 4207.
Manchester Police remind residents: “Unmarked police cars have the same authorization to stop a vehicle as a fully marked patrol car so, to that end, you must pull over when being signaled to do so. However, should you have any doubts as to the validity of an unmarked car, you should immediately contact the police department in the jurisdiction where you are being stopped.”
In the event you are stopped by a suspicious unmarked vehicle, police offer these tips:
- Call the local police department and ask them to verify the matter.
- If you are being pulled over by an unmarked car in a dark or desolate area, you should gesture politely with your hand and proceed carefully to a safe, well-lit area.
- If you are approached by a non-uniformed officer from an unmarked car, keep your hands where they can be seen and politely ask the officer for I.D. other than a badge or request that a supervisor or a uniformed officer be called to the location.
- If you have someone with you that can take a photograph of the vehicle or license plate, or you can do it safely, it can be helpful.