Police arrest “blue light bandits”

There’s perhaps nothing more unnerving than being robbed by people you thought were police officers. And for the real men and women in blue, there’s perhaps nothing more galling.

On Jan. 12, local police arrested and charged 28-year-old Gregory Neal Hitch of Fletcher and 27-year-old Jason Everette Allen of Arden with approaching people, pretending to be law-enforcement officers, then robbing them in three incidents dating back to December.

Working together, detectives with the Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office cracked the case, according to a joint news release. The two arrestees were charged with posing as plainclothes officers and initiating traffic stops in an unmarked Dodge Charger as a means of robbing people.

The charges stem from incidents that date back to Dec. 12, 2008, according to police. On that date, a single male pulled over a female driver on Lookout Road. The woman told the man she was calling 911 to verify that he was legitimate. The suspect drove off.

On Jan. 7, a driver of a white Dodge pulled up behind a man pulling into his residence in Wellington Mobile Home Park and activated blue lights, according to police. Two men got out of the Dodge, searched the vehicle in the driveway and its occupants, took personal items, then left.

And on Jan. 8 on Bingham Road, two people were pulling into the driveway of their home when a white Dodge Charger pulled in behind them. Two men in the Charger claimed to be police officers, said there’d been an accident nearby and explained that they needed to inspect the car in the driveway for damage. The two men searched the vehicle and the male occupant, took personal items and cash, then left, according to police.


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