Authorities issue warning after series of police impersonator reports

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 26, 2015)--  There’s a new warning from the city’s south side about a phony cop that tried to pull people over Saturday afternoon on U.S. 31. It’s the fourth police impersonator case we’ve heard of in central Indiana since the middle of October.

That victim confronted the police impersonator, who later drove away.

A man and his wife saw a white Crown Victoria behind another car at a shopping center at Stop 11 Road and U.S. 31, in what appeared to be a traffic stop.

The man told police he passed the car, but then it started following him, down the street to a McAlister’s Deli.

He confronted the driver, according to a police report, and asked if he was a police officer. The man said the supposed officer got back in his car and drove away.

The witness reported the car looked like a security company vehicle, with a computer and handcuffs hanging off a spotlight.

On October 12, Columbus Police started an investigation of a police impersonator driving a black Dodge Charger, who pulled over a woman on Interstate 65.

On October 14, a woman in Madison County reported being pulled over by a police impersonator, driving a black Dodge Charge.

Then, on October 15, a police impersonator stopped a woman in Tippecanoe County in a black SUV. There was a physical altercation, but the woman escaped.

“You’ve got to judge by what you’re going on,” said Sgt. Rich Myers, with Indiana State Police, “If you have any question at all, dial 911, and tell them where your location’s at.”

Indiana State Police recently released this list of safety tips during a traffic stop:

  • Stop in a well-lighted and populated area
  • Lock all doors and only roll your window down enough so you can communicate (one or two inches)
  • Ask for the officer’s identification (even if they are wearing something that has “police or sheriff’ on it)
  • Do not leave your vehicle unless you are sure the person is a legitimate police officer
  • Call 911 and give the dispatcher your location
  • If you don’t feel you should stop, drive the speed limit, with the emergency flashers on to attract attention. Proceed safely to location where you feel comfortable or until you observe a second police car

“If you do suspect you’re the victim of a police impersonator, try to get that plate number, that’s the best evidence we can get,” said Myers.

The police report from Saturday indicates the victim in the case was able to get a license plate number to pass on to IMPD.

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