By Tracy Clemons
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Recent Craigslist postings show that it is possible to both buy and sell St. Louis police badges and other related items online.
Kelly Kyriakos is the vice president of sales and marketing at Code Three, a St. Louis Company that manufactures warning lights and sirens. Its distributors all ask for proof that their buyers are with a law enforcement agency.
"For us it's very frustrating because it's very scary for us," Kyriakos said. "We want to make sure the public is safe, and the public has trust in the people that are using those lights are the right people using those lights."
Kyriakos says his company requires a letter from the department or for an actual purchase order from the city of St. Louis, the city of Kirkwood or the actual agency of the distributor.
He says problems can arise with used items, which are easy to obtain online.
"eBay has sort of policed and cracked down on that," he said. "However, people like Craiglist, different situation. We've seen other types of products be on Craiglist - body armor, badges unfortunately. However, we can't control that type of thing from happening."
If you are being pulled over and have doubts about the stop, call 911, St. Louis police say. The dispatcher will find out if it's legit.
"If it is not one of our cars, then that dispatcher will give our citizen the location of the nearest police facility," Lt. Col. Paul Nocchiero said. "We ask that the citizen drive there, and the dispatcher will alert that facility that the citizen is coming and there will be police officers to meet that citizen at the facility and protect the citizen."
St. Louis police say you can also ask for the department ID card if you're pulled over to make sure the officer is who they say they are.
Two men accused of impersonating police officers in St. Louis and Wellston are still on the loose. They allegedly used police lights to pull people over and rob them. In the Wellston incident, they tried to carjack the driver at gunpoint and ended up shooting him as he sped off.