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Imposter police officers rob Long Island family after flashing fake police badges

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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Halloween is still a few days away but Nassau County police say that did not stop two criminal imposters from playing dress up.

Their costume? Plain clothes cops. The victim? A Vietnamese family.

It all began when an elderly member of the family was in front of the home raking leaves.

At that point he was approached by a male approximately 40 years old wearing some type of uniform. The uniform had no patches on it and no police insignia, Lt. Richard Lebron of the Nassau County Police Department pointed out.

The suspect then asked the elderly gentleman to walk around the side of the house. Then the elderly man's 49-year-old son approached them.

The suspect ordered both of them to the back of the home, where he gathered two other family members and decided to go all in with his act, according to Lt. Lebron.

"At that point he displayed a shield," Lt. Lebron said. "He took it out actually of his sweatshirt, displayed a silver colored shield that had a black backer on it."

Detectives say the man asked if there were guns drugs or money in the home before calling his accomplice via a walkie-talkie to join him. Once together, the duo then ordered the family of four into a bathroom.

"They were not aggressive. They were not physical. The family did comply immediately which probably helped the situation."

The thieves did not ransack the house, but did make off with nearly $4,000 in cash.

The robbery did raise eyebrows, but not everyones.

"Just because you flash a badge means nothing," said Frank Driess.

Driess was outside working on a family member's home a few blocks from where the robberies occurred.

He told PIX 11 News why he was not concerned. "I'm a retired bank manager. I've been robbed twice so I know what it is like to look at a gun."

Nassau County detectives are still trying to track down the suspect but warns the public the best to way to counter potential imposters is to ask for ID or call 911 and confirm the presence of law enforcement with the operator.