HE HAD A gold badge on his belt and flashing lights on the dashboard of his Toyota Camry.

But the guy making an arrest in the parking lot of a Pennypack Woods 7-Eleven on Wednesday night was definitely not a cop.

Two real cops spotted the encounter at 10:30 p.m. as they stopped their cruiser at a red light at Frankford Avenue and Tolbut Street, police spokeswoman Officer Jillian Russell said.

The 23-year-old phony cop, whom spokesman Lt. John Stanford later identified as Julian Collins, of Welsh Road in Winchester Park, tried to take off when he came face-to-face with the genuine article, but the real police caught and arrested him, cops said.

Collins is now charged with impersonating an officer, Stanford said. The victim in that incident wasn't harmed, and Collins wasn't able to take anything from him before the real police busted up his scam.

Stranger still, it wasn't the first time Wednesday night that a fake cop in the area tried arresting someone.

Police said they don't think that the earlier incident, in which two men posing as police officers and driving a Chevy Malibu with flashing red and blue lights on McMenam Street near Walker, in Holmesburg, was related.

Those non-cops, one of whom wore a shirt that read "police," got out of their car, guns drawn, and ordered the three men out of the truck, Stanford said. They then cuffed the trio, loaded them into the back of the truck they initially were riding in and drove off.

Stanford said that a struggle eventually ensued inside the truck, and the three men escaped and called the real police. One suffered a broken arm in the fight, and two cellphones were taken, in addition to the truck, according to Stanford.

At a news conference Thursday, Stanford said he didn't have any information on where the Chevy or the victim's truck ended up, and that an investigation is continuing.

"Detectives are working very hard to try and bring in an apprehension on that," Stanford said.

On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo
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