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July 13, 2012
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Criminals may be impersonating law enforcement officers in Alpine County

Alpine County authorities are asking residents to be on the lookout for three men who were potentially impersonating law enforcement officers in the forest off Highway 4 in late June.

Someone reported seeing what appeared to be three law enforcement officers escorting three Hispanics out of the forest at gunpoint at 1-2 p.m. on June 25 or 26.

According to the person reporting the incident, the uniformed subjects were wearing dark colored camouflage with bright yellow lettering on their backs.

When they reached the highway, just west of the cow camp near the sharp curve, one of the men spoke into a black portable radio. Ten minutes later a black van pulled up and all six men got in.

The van left east toward Markleeville.

The reporting person described the van as dull black, with two small windows in the back and chrome near the bumper.

There was no license plate.

Undersheriff Robert Levy said that as near as the Alpine County Sheriff's Office can determine, there were no law enforcement operations in this area by any federal, state or local agency.

"According to our narcotics investigators, this type of operation where known criminals impersonate officers is occurring in Southern California and across the border in Mexico," Levy said.

He advised residents to immediately call 9-1-1 if they observe any van matching this description.

"Please consider the occupants armed and dangerous," Levy said.

"Please remember to be aware of your surroundings, especially while hiking or recreating in the back country."

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The Record Courier Updated Jul 13, 2012 09:30PM Published Jul 13, 2012 09:28PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.