THE Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) is asking members of the public to ensure that anyone purporting to be police officers display their police identification cards before they are allowed to enter their homes.
The call was made by Public Information officer of the Police Service Sgt Wayne Mystar on Wednesday, at the daily police news briefing.
Mystar made the call following a report that a Woodbrook man was robbed after two men, dressed in "police uniform", entered his home on Tuesday.
According to the report, the 18-year-old man was at his Gatacre Street, Woodbrook, home around 2 p.m. when two men, one dressed in a grey shirt and navy blue pants, informed him they were conducting an investigation.
The man who was dressed like an "officer" left, leaving the other man who was clad in "civilian wear" inside.
The teen was relieved of an HP laptop valued at $6,000, three cellphones valued at $10,000 and $3,000 cash.
In a second report 90 minutes later, a Maraval woman was at her Lynch Drive, Maraval, home when two men came to her door and informed her they had found several items belonging to her that were stolen.
The men then asked to be let into the woman's home, so she could identify the belongings.
The woman became suspicious since she had not been robbed, and when she also observed that one of the men had no buttons on his "uniform", she refused to let them in. The two then left in a Toyota Corolla car.
Mystar warned that police uniforms have distinguishing features such as a regimental number or name tag on it.
"If you are suspicious, do not allow the people to enter your home, and verify the information you receive. You have a right to request the officers' identification," Mystar said, adding that citizens can contact the police station to verify the information if they are uncertain.
Asked whether the use of the new police uniforms will curb this type of crime, Mystar said: "We are not dealing with the new uniforms."