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Vancouver man arrested for impersonating police officer in Tualatin

Police link man to similar incident in late March
by: Photo courtesy of WCSO Robert Burke

TUALATIN - Police arrested a man they say was impersonating a police officer in Tualatin last night.

Robert Burke, 44, of Vancouver, Wash., was arrested Thursday, April 5, at about 11:30 p.m. after police say they spotted him driving a suspicious vehicle on Tualatin-Sherwood Road, said Lt. Greg Pickering.

Police were patrolling the area when officers noticed Burke's red Volkswagon GTI with police-like red and blue emergency lights in its back window, stopped along Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

The lights were on and flashing when officers approached the car, Pickering said. As officers drove closer, the vehicle reportedly drove off, but was quickly pulled over.

Inside the car, police found a ballistic vest, a police-type equipment belt and emergency lights.

Burke was arrested for criminal impersonation of a police officer and lodged in the Washington County Jail.

Pickering said Burke was linked to a similar incident a few weeks earlier in Tualatin, where a driver was reportedly stopped by someone claiming to be a Tualatin police officer.

After the incident, the driver contacted Tualatin police and was told the man was not an officer.

"He thought something wasn't right about the whole thing and spoke with us about it," Pickering said.

"If there are other victims out there, we wanted to get in touch with them right away," Pickering said. "There are several rules and laws that we as officers have to follow to make sure that we are doing our job correctly and safely. And, if there is someone who doesn't have that same type of information and training, we can't have them out there. It's all about protecting the public."

Anyone who may have had contact with or was stopped by Burke is urged to call Tualatin Police at 503-691-4800.