INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – Police are searching for a man who has been posing as a police officer and pulling over innocent drivers on Indiana highways.
“If I was really suspicious that it was someone that was impersonating a police officer, I would not hand over any information,” says a concerned driver.
On Friday afternoon, a man in his forties, driving a newer model Dark Gray Dodge Charger with tinted windows turned on his phony police lights and stopped a 33-year-old man who was driving on I-465.
“The car had police flashing lights on the front of the vehicle towards the mirror. They looked like regular police flashing lights, Red and Blue,” says Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff with Lawrence Police.
The victim thought he was being pulled over by an undercover cop and stopped on the side of I-465 where he was asked to hand over his license and registration. The fake cop, wearing Blue jeans and Black t-shirt that said Sheriff searched the 33-year-old man, checking his pockets and vehicle. Seconds later, that phony cop ran off with the victim’s wallet and phone.
“Typically a law enforcement officer, if they are going to pull you over for a traffic infraction, is either going to be in a fully marked vehicle or wearing a police uniform,” says Deputy Chief Woodruff.
Under Indiana law, a cop cannot pull someone over or arrest a person if they do not have their badge. It is not always easy for drivers to tell the difference between an impersonator and an undercover cop.
“They will wait, they will follow you and that is when they start impersonating and turn on their lights,” says a worried driver.
Police say you should ask for the officer’s information and also ask to see their police badge. If they do not provide those documents, call for help and leave the scene.
“I would try to figure out if this person is legitimate or not. If they don’t seem legitimate, I would probably just close my window…drive away and contact 911,” says a concerned driver.