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Stunned Residents Look On As NYPD Takes Down 3 Suspected Police Impersonators In Bronx

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Three men who allegedly posed as fake cops in the Bronx are in custody, after police said they attempted to kidnap and rob a man believed to be dealing drugs out of his apartment.

"Nothing surprises me in New York anymore," one East Tremont resident told CBS2's Natalie Duddridge on Wednesday.

Officers were called to an apartment at 740 East 178th St. for a robbery at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

"When I came out the building, I noticed there was tons of cops," one person said.

Staff at the building saw something suspicious on the surveillance camera -- men that looked like police hiding on one of the floors. However, they noticed their uniforms had fake badges that said "Security Enforcement Officer" and "Crime Prevention Officer," so they called 911.

The NYPD said they forced their way into an apartment, where they handcuffed a 36-year-old man at gunpoint while his wife and kids were home and asked where the drugs were.

When the real police arrived they saw three men dressed as fake cops come out of the elevator with another man in handcuffs.

As soon as officers questioned them, all four took off, including the guy in cuffs.

One witness watched police chase them down.

"I just heard a big commotion and ... three guys were running up this way. The cops had the guy with the dreads leaning against the car. He was asking, 'Why would you do that? Why are you impersonating us?'" the witness said.

Officers quickly arrested three of the men and then an hour later apprehended the fourth.

A search of their bags, car, and an apartment turned up at least three kilos of cocaine, $160,000 cash, and four guns, including one that was fake.

"That is crazy and that makes me scared because then anyone can get in the building," one person said.

"If any police come and you see them in uniform, you can't challenge them," Kwabena Amakye said.

On Wednesday morning, the three alleged phony cops, all from Connecticut, were loaded into a police van at the 48th Precinct. They're all facing weapons and drug charges.

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