Bethel Township Police investigate police impersonation incidents

Juveniles in Bethel Township sparked concern over the weekend after police say they used a black Ford Crown Victoria equipped with emergency lights and a siren to impersonate police officers. The group, consisting of seven youths, later admitted to conducting at least one traffic stop.

On Saturday, March 16, 2024 at approximately 7:45PM Berks County 911 received a call in the area of Lancaster Avenue and Mill Road in Tulpehocken Township for a report of an older black police type vehicle driving on Lancaster Avenue with red and blue lights and a siren that was attempting to pull cars over as if they were the police. Bethel Township Police assisted Tulpehocken Township Police at that time but were unable to locate the vehicle.

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At approximately 9:20PM that same evening, Bethel Township Police were dispatched to the 7800 block of Lancaster Avenue for a similar report. Minutes later Bethel Township Police and Tulpehocken Township Police located the vehicle in that same area. The vehicle was a black 2006 Ford Crown Victoria equipped with LED lights on the windshield, a spot light, and a siren.

Police say the vehicle was occupied by seven juveniles. All were detained and transported to the Bethel Township Police station. The involved vehicle was towed and impounded at the police station.

According to authorities, while in the presence of their parents, the juveniles admitted to conducting at least one traffic stop using the emergency lights and siren on the vehicle. All involved juveniles were released to their parents.

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Police searched the vehicle and found a functional siren, functional spot light, in addition to aftermarket functioning LED lights mounted to the windshield which were capable of emitting a variety of colors. A pair of toy handcuffs were also located inside the car.

Through the investigation it was learned that the juveniles initially met in Bethel Township where they began their illegal activity, then traveled to the area of Walmart in Lebanon and back to Bethel area where they continued the acts.

Due to being juveniles police say the involved parties will not be publicly identified, although juvenile charges are pending related to impersonation of a public servant and disorderly conduct. The investigation remains open.

If anyone has information about these incidents or was a witness to or victim of these incidents, police ask that you call 717-933-4210 or 610-655-4911.

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