‘Blue light bandit’ arrested for impersonating police officer in western N.C. county

James Douglas Miller
James Douglas Miller(Rutherford County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 4:16 PM EST
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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte man, who has been called the “blue light bandit,” was arrested for impersonating a police officer after allegedly attempting to stop two motorists in a western N.C. county.

Deputies say the “blue light bandit” struck twice on US 74 in Rutherford County over the weekend of Feb. 27 and 28.

Officers interviewed witnesses and gathered information to find the car used and the alleged suspect.

James Douglas Miller, 52, from Charlotte, was arrested on Thursday. He is charged with felony impersonation of a law enforcement officer.

Miller is accused of turning on blue lights to stop drivers.

He was taken to the Rutherford County Jail under a $25,000 bond.

“The North Carolina State Highway Patrol takes these cases very seriously,” the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “The dangerous and reckless acts of impersonation erode the trust and confidence the public must have in their law enforcement officers for them to be able to provide the services needed.”

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement the “State Highway Patrol has a policy in place for all members operating an unmarked patrol car that the member should sound their siren (along with the blue lights) to signal a citizen to pull over. Many times, the people that have illegally obtained a flashing blue light will not have their vehicle outfitted with the electronic equipment necessary for a functioning siren.”

The Sheriff’s Office warned the public of this activity.

“If you aren’t sure, wait until you hear the sound of the siren before pulling over.  If you still are uncomfortable pulling over, especially at night or on a deserted highway, activate your four-way flashers and continue at a reduced speed until you reach a well-lit public area such as a convenience store or any open business.  Troopers understand this person is acknowledging their presence and request to pull over but are simply looking for a safe place to stop.”

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