Officers from all over on high alert over 'roadside killer'

(WMC-TV) – Concerns about the "roadside killer" are not limited to north Mississippi.

Authorities, as far north as Missouri and south through central Mississippi, are warning motorists to use caution.

"At this time Mississippi police fear that a killer posing as a police officer is pulling over motorists late at night (and the early morning hours) on dark highways and shooting them," said Lieutenant Michael J. Thomas of the Helena-West Helena Police Department told the Helena-Arkansas Daily World.

According to Thomas, authorities suspect the shooter is impersonating a cop because the perpetrator may be driving a white, unmarked Crown Victoria sedan, which can resemble a police car.

In Perry County, Missouri, Sheriff Gary Schaff is telling motorists you do not have to immediately pull over if you see flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror.

He says common sense is your best defense.

In Arkansas, LaVera Burton said she learned a lot about driver safety 10 years ago. These recent reports of someone posing as a police officer and pulling people over sounds eerily similar to another case.

"I'm from southern Arkansas and a few years back they had an unmarked car going around and pulling over ladies late at night and stuff and raping them," said Burton.

Workers at Arkansas Police Supply in Jonesboro are also keeping an especially sharp eye out for any civilians who try to buy police uniforms or badges.

In Memphis, Police Director Toney Armstrong is not overly worried the roadside killer will strike in the city, but department representatives still meet with their counterparts in Mississippi to discuss the case.

"At this point, the person has not surfaced here in this area, but that's not to say that he won't," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

All the more reason Armstrong advises even Memphis motorists use caution if they are stopped by an unmarked police car.

Folks in the middle of the Magnolia State, hundreds of miles from where two people were shot and killed on the side of the road are on high alert as well.

"There is a heightened state of awareness now among law enforcement officers all across the state because of this particular case and there is an understanding also that there is some concern by the motoring public," said Warren Strain, Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.