Traffic stop nabs man who allegedly posed as officer to rape two women

(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Police arrested a 33-year-old man in the cases of two women who reported being raped by a man who posed as a police officer.

The Minneapolis man was arrested on Nov. 10 after police stopped him while he was driving a van near 26th St. and Pleasant Av. S.

Police say the van fit the description of a vehicle used in two rapes reported in the vicinity of Lake St. and Interstate Hwy. 35W in the past three weeks.

The man was interviewed Friday by the Sex Crimes Unit and booked into Hennepin County jail, said Lt. Carol Serafin.

"There was enough probable cause to arrest him," said police spokeswoman Cyndi Montgomery.

A judge will review the case and determine whether the suspect should be held until Monday, released early or have bail set, according to police records.

In each rape report, police say, a man approached a woman, showed her a badge and threatened to arrest her if she didn't have sex with him. In neither case did the man wear a police uniform, but in both cases he had a police-type utility belt and carried a police-style radio. Montgomery said police don't know how the man got the items.

The first case involved a 44-year-old woman at about 3:30 a.m. on Oct. 25.

The second incident involved a 35-year-old woman who reported being raped about 12:40 a.m. Tuesday and said she was pushed out of a van after the assault.

Minneapolis police carry photo identification cards and badges with identification numbers on them. Anybody approached by someone who claims to be an officer can ask to see the card and badge, Montgomery said.

(iSyndicate; Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN); Nov. 12, 2000) : Terms and Conditions Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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