Public safety director responds to social media post of an alleged police impersonator

Posted by The Huron Hub on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020

Public Safety Director Everette Robbins released the following statement to The Huron Hub this morning regarding a social media post that alleged there was a police impersonator in the community, and that Huron officers acted inappropriately during an investigation at the house of the resident who made the allegations:

This morning I was made aware of a post that insinuated that either there was a police impersonator in the community or that a group of Huron Township Police Officers acted inappropriately. As the Director of Public Safety, I felt it would be irresponsible not to respond to a post such as this. It is important to give accurate information and to put the community at ease knowing there are no police imposters knocking on doors as the poster attempted to get you to believe.

Last week, we were contacted by a complainant who had purchased items on Facebook from a man who resides in our community. The complainant paid for his items and waited for their arrival. Several days after sending the money and not receiving what he paid for, he attempted to contact the seller who resides in our township. After being asked where the property was he paid for, the seller left their original conversation and blocked the complainant on social media. The seller refused to communicate with the complainant and never sent the paid for property.

After receiving the complaint, we assigned the investigation to the Detective Bureau. A Huron Township Detective went to the sellers address along with a Huron Township Police Officer who was dressed in full uniform and driving a fully-marked Huron Township Patrol Vehicle. The interaction was recorded using the officer’s body worn camera, which I reviewed. The detective knocked on the door and was invited in by the seller. The detective showed the seller his Huron Township Police Department identification issued by me. The seller was crystal clear as to who the detective was and where he worked.

The claim of other unmarked cars at the scene and many of the other claims in the post are simply untrue. The seller advised the detective that he had shipped the property, but that it was lost by the shipping business. The detective asked the seller to see the shipping receipt which showed he has sent the property as a simple way to resolve the issue.

Although the seller claimed that this was legitimate, he was unable to provide any documentation to show where he had in fact sent the property the complainant paid for. It was our belief that a legitimate business should be able to provide a receipt if they had in fact shipped it as they claimed. Shortly after leaving the sellers residence, our Detective Bureau received information from the complainant that the seller immediately called and returned his payment. In short, a crime was reported to our department and we used all of the necessary resources to investigate it properly.

In the end, the complainant was made whole and the larceny investigation is ongoing. I respect everyone’s right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately in some cases, some interpret freedom of speech to mean the freedom to scam, the freedom to embellish, or the freedom to outright lie.

Lastly, I want to make it clear that neither myself or any command officer was contacted by the individual making the post so he could share his concerns. I think it is very clear why he did not choose to call our department and discuss the issue. More than anything, I think this incident is a great example of the outstanding investigative work being done by our staff. As always, my door is open to anyone wishing to discuss this matter further. We will continue to provide quality service to our residents through open communication and transparency.

Have a great weekend,

Everette Robbins, Huron Township Director of Public Safety.


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