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A Roseburg Police Department patrol car.

The Roseburg Police Department is warning people of misinformation being spread on social media that is causing “unnecessary alarm.”

The department took to its Facebook page Tuesday morning after police said a growing number of people began spreading information online about a man who was allegedly pulling people over in his personal vehicle. According to the department’s post, when officers became aware of the situation, they located the man and spoke with him.

Although the man’s vehicle was equipped with after-market lighting, police were “unable to substantiate any of the claims that he (was) making traffic stops or pulling people over.”

One of the complaints officers heard was that the man was flashing green lights in a parking lot and that the driver in front of him believed they were being pulled over, even though the man never interacted with the driver, parked, and then walked into a nearby business without ever approaching or saying anything to the other vehicle, police said.

The lighting on the man’s vehicle is legal, police said, as long as it is not activated while on a roadway. The lights can be used in a parking lot or while on private property, police said.

“Social media is a great resource that can quickly provide information to great numbers of people, but it can also cause unnecessary alarm and concern that is not always based upon facts,” police said. “There are large social media groups in our area, and if information is not properly vetted before being posted, it can cause unwarranted alarm.”

Police said often their own social media postings are delayed in an effort to ensure the information shared is factual and not based on rumors or third-hand reports.

“If there is a valid concern the public needs to be aware of, we will post that information through our social media and alert systems,” police said.

If anyone believes they have been pulled over by someone who you do not believe is a police officer, call 911 immediately, police said.

Ian Campbell can be reached at ian@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4209. Or follow him on Twitter

@MrCampbell17.

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(2) comments

NR blogger

Sometimes things do get exaggerated,. But it's still good to ask questions. Does the local media ask questions of law enforcement?

I think people have many more questions than are being answered.

sectorstar

This is another example of what I like to refer to as "douglas county syndrome" where unfortunately most of the population possesses a low IQ and can't think for themselves. All too often someone posts something on social media that they "thought" they heard, and by the end of the day most of the city accepts its as truth or fact. In this particular example the facebook posting in question steamed from a female who "heard" it from her boy friend, meaning she didn't actually see or could validate it herself. By the end of yesterday night everyone and their brother here is sharing her post and accepting it as fact.

Another recent infamous example, there was a thing that went viral where a recent released inmate was supposedly left outside the jail house doors shivering in the cold and barefoot. The video was shared all over social media. Had anyone actually done some research, the individual had atleast 50-60 arrest records, and was well known to make a game or show out of something anytime he didn't like or want to do what he was told (which was nearly anything and everything). Thankfully someone at the NR had enough of a brain to do some research and get the correct info out.

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