The letter urged Lakewood residents to take a stand against a “scum” drug dealer who was selling crack cocaine out of his house.
It was signed by Police Chief Mike Zaro and had the city’s logo in the upper left corner.
Turns out it was a fake.
Police discovered the impersonation when several of the letters showed up in the department’s mailbox, marked “return to sender.”
“It looks cheesy, even the signature,” Lt. Chris Lawler said. “We want people to understand that’s not how we do things.”
It’s unclear who wrote the letter or how many people received it.
Officers plan to check on whether there is illegal activity happening at the address listed in the letter, but cautioned that the people who live there may be innocent.
The letter gives a poor description of the alleged drug dealer and asks residents to take cell phone video of him.
“In a new approach, the city of Lakewood would like to encourage all hardworking citizens to get involved in ridding our city of this scum,” the letter reads.
City officials said they would never send such a letter and always post on social media if they do a mass mailing.
The letter writing impersonator could face charges if caught, Lawler said.
“There are better ways for people to report things,” he said.
Suspicious activity can be reported to the Lakewood Police Department’s tip line at 253-830-5049.
Anyone with questions about the letter can call City Hall at 253-589-2489.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653