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Police search for man pretending to be Indianapolis police officer

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 27, 2015)– Indianapolis police have a warning for drivers on the city’s northeast side. They’re searching for a man who allegedly pretended to be a police officer and pulled a woman over near Castleton Square Mall over the weekend.

Driving down 82nd street, the woman was pulled over by a man driving a black unmarked Crown Victoria with overhead lights.

The suspect got out, claimed the victim had been speeding, and asked for her ID.

The victim was immediately suspicious of the man’s uniform and refused to give the man any information.

“She thought the uniform was tattered and did not have the professional appearance that most police officers have,” said IMPD Lt. Richard Riddle.

As FOX59 was on scene looking into the story, we saw an identical black unmarked Crown Victoria with overhead lights.

The driver, who didn’t want to give his name, claimed he worked as a security guard at the mall and gets mad when anyone impersonates the police.

“For someone to do that, it makes me mad,” said the man.

The man explained he uses the overhead lights to escort funerals and says black Crown Victorias with overhead emergency lights are not uncommon.

“There are lots of people, they do funeral escorts and work security. I can name 3 people that have lights on their car,” said the man.

The victim confirmed the man we talked to is not the suspect who pulled her over.

For their part, police say if you’re ever pulled over and feel the person may not be legitimate law enforcement, there are things you can do to stay safe.

Those tips include calling 911 and verifying with police dispatch the officer is real.

Also, drive to a visible location with lots of people around and ask to see the officers ID, don’t just look at their badge.

“If an officer is in uniform, she or he has to carry a police ID,” explains Riddle.

Feeling suspicious, the victim in this case asked to see the suspects ID and he drove away.

Police now hope to catch the crook before he strikes again.

“We certainly want to capture someone who is impersonating a police officer for everyone’s safety,” said Riddle.

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