The two police officer imposter incidents are not related

Just as police in Columbia get a break in the case of a man impersonating police officers, a second Boone County community reports a fake cop incident.

Late Tuesday night, Columbia police arrested 20 year-old Zachary Rugen.

They believe he is responsible for three imposter incidents since last Friday.

Meanwhile, in Centralia, a woman said a man claiming to be a Centralia police officer pulled her over, cuffed her, and robbed her.

KRCG'S Crimetracker team investigated to find out if these two incidents were related.

A routine traffic stop gave Columbia police the break they were looking for.

"The officers approached the vehicle and noticed that the driver had the same appearance as the suspect we're looking for in impersonating an officer. He also had same vehicle we were looking for, Columbia Police Dept. Latisha Stroer said.

Columbia police said they pulled Zachary Rugen over late Tuesday night because his black impala did not have license plates.

"He was arrested early Tuesday morning for three counts of false impersonating a police officer, for one count of felonious restraint, and for one count of assault in the 2nd degree, Stroer said.

Rugen is being held at the Boone County Jail on a $10,500 bond.

Police don't believe Rugen is the same guy who impersonated an officer in Centrailia on Tuesday.

The Centralia Police Department said the fake officer pulled a woman over for her tail light being out.

"He requested to search the vehicle. He then pulled the female out of the vehicle and hand cuffed her and put her in his vehicle. He then went back up and searched the vehicle, Centralia Police Department Sgt. Robert Bias said. Upon searching the vehicle he came back and said he was just giving her a verbal warning. Then he uncuffed her and put her back in her car."

The police said the man tore up some of the seats in the woman's car and even stole some money from her purse.

The Centrailia Police Dept. told us that it's very important to get this imposter off the streets because it's making their jobs ten times harder than it already is."

"It's very important to us because the fact is we got a hard enough job like I said as it is. I would like to see this man in custody if we can get him, Bias said.

Bias said the man wore a police uniform, but didn't have a badge.

He thinks the Centrailia incident may be a copy cat from the ones in Columbia.

The Centralia Police Dept. said they are looking for white male, about six feet tall, with reddish brown balding hair, and a reddish goatee.

The car he was driving was described as a light-colored Ford Crown Victoria or a Mercury Grand Marquis.

Which is equipped with red and blue police lights.

If you have any information please call the Centralia Police Dept. at 573-682-2132.