A grifter in his 20s is popping up around the city under the guise of buying cellphones from people and then stealing them while falsely identifying himself as a police officer, according to the real police.

Cops say that the suspect, a man between the ages of 22 and 27, has struck in three separate incidents in February, April and June this year. In each case, the man allegedly arranged to buy a cellphone from his victim over Craigslist, then identified himself as a police officer when he met the sellers, claimed the phones were stolen and took them.

In the February crime, the suspect met a 24-year-old woman on Columbus Avenue and West 63rd street on the evening of the 19th after arranging to buy two phones from her. When they met, he pulled out a badge and took the cellphones, while also grabbing the woman's breast before driving away in a white four door sedan.

In the April incident, the suspect met up with a 16-year-old boy, on the evening of the 15th, under the auspices of buying a phone. The pair met up at 200 Eastern Parkway, and while the man didn't get away with the phone, investigators say he did pull out a shield again and tell the 16-year-old he was a cop before driving away in the same white four door sedan.

Finally, on the afternoon of June 3rd, the suspect met another person, a 23-year-old man, at 2155 University Avenue. Police say the suspect once again pulled out a shield and said he was an officer, and this time he got away with the cellphone, before fleeing in the white four door sedan, which this victim said had New Jersey license plates.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.