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.