Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Pair charged with impersonating cops, conducting bogus stops in South Philadelphia

Terrance Jacobus, 48, and Kelli Rowan, 28, were arrested and charged with impersonating police officers after they allegedly conduced at least two bogus pedestrian stops in South Philadelphia last weekend.

Police have arrested a man and woman who allegedly impersonated police officers and conducted at least two bogus pedestrian stops in South Philadelphia last weekend.

Terrance Jacobus, 48, and Kelli Rowan, 28, were taken into custody late Wednesday night, police announced Friday.

Both are charged with two counts each of robbery, conspiracy, and impersonating a public servant, along with one count each of theft, attempted theft, and receiving stolen property.

Police gave the following account of their alleged crimes:

The pair, traveling in a silver sedan, first pulled up next to a 23-year-old woman who was walking home near Fourth and Jackson streets about 4:30 a.m. Sunday.

Both suspects exited the car, and Jacobus flashed a badge and identified himself as a police officer. He ordered the victim to walk toward him and threatened to arrest her if she resisted.

The woman instead ran to her home, which was nearby. Both suspects got back into the car and fled north on Fifth Street.

About 6:20 a.m., a 21-year-old man was walking along Passyunk Avenue near Tasker Street when a gray or silver sedan stopped abruptly beside him.

The driver, later identified as Jacobus, exited while displaying a badge and announcing himself as a police officer.

Jacobus asked the man to show identification, claiming he fit the description of a suspect wanted for selling drugs.

The victim handed over his wallet, and Jacobus removed his ID and medical card. He passed them to Rowan, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, and asked her to "check" them as he frisked the victim.

Rowan replied that the cards "matched" and returned the victim's wallet. It wasn't until she and Jacobus had sped off that the victim realized his money – $14 in cash – was missing.

No injuries were reported during either incident.

Investigators with the South Detective Division identified Jacobus and Rowan as the suspects and relayed the information to patrol officers, police said.

They were arrested when officers conducted a vehicle stop along the 100 block of Fernon Street and found Jacobus behind the wheel of the 1999 Jeep Cherokee and Rowan in the passenger seat, police said.

Both were arraigned Thursday night. A judge set bail for Rowan, of the 100 block of Fernon Street, at 10 percent of $12,000.

Bail for Jacobus, of the 200 block of Federal Street, was set at 10 percent of $200,000. He has multiple prior criminal convictions dating back to the mid-1980s for charges including burglary, assault, and terroristic threats, court records state. Jacobus was most recently sentenced to 2 to 4 years in jail when he was found guilty of burglary, theft, trespassing, and possessing an instrument of crime in 2005.

Both Jacobus and Rowan are due back in court for preliminary hearings on Dec. 17.