In Lakewood, fake letter about crack cocaine impersonates police chief
LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- Lakewood officials are warning residents not to believe a phony letter that supposedly came from the police chief and is about a drug house.
"This letter is fraudulent. The city of Lakewood and Lakewood Police Department would never send a letter like this," the city said.
The letter includes an address of a home from which crack cocaine is supposedly being sold and gives the first name of the man who is supposedly the main dealer.
"In a new approach, the city of Lakewood would like to encourage all hardworking citizens in ridding our city of this scum. Please contact everyone you know in your area and feel free to take cell phone video if you spot the individual engage in said activity. Once you have the video, please forward to city officials and we will take it from there to prosecute said individual," the fake letter says.
It indicates it is from Police Chief Mike Zaro.
"It's just unprofessional looking in it its appearance," Zaro said. "To encourage people to intentionally insert themselves into investigations is also something we would never do."
Investigators said that although the fake letter calls out crack cocaine dealers the house it identifies has no known ties to narcotics activity.
The chief said it could be tensions between neighbors or possibly a form of vigilante justice.
"It could be that they are seeing suspicious activity and this is what they think it is and this is their method of drawing attention to it," Zaro said.
In a news release, Lakewood told its residents not to be fooled.
"If you have received this letter, please disregard and take no action based on its contents.
"The city does mail information to residents from time to time, but information is always sent using official city letterhead or postcards. If the city needs to get a mass message out to residents it would be on official letterhead and accompanied by social media posts on Facebook and Twitter and would be written in a professional manner."