INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Several residents on the southeast side of Indianapolis say they’re nervous after hearing reports of a possible police impersonator knocking on doors, asking to come in and count prescription pain pills.
A woman in the Emerson Village Apartments had her roommate call 911 Monday morning after she says the man came to her door for the third time in the last week. She described the young white male as being tall, slender, wearing a black baseball cap and sunglasses.
The woman said the man at her door claimed to be an IMPD narcotics officer and asked to come into her apartment to count her prescription pain pills. The first two times, on May 1 and May 3, the woman says she allowed the man to enter her apartment and access her pill bottles. She says the man appeared to count the pills, and then left without taking anything.
“It certainly doesn’t seem usual,” said IMPD Sgt. Shane Foley. “I would say it seems very unusual.”
The same woman told police she grew suspicious of the man when he came to her door again on Monday this week. That’s when she had her roommate call 911. The man was gone by the time officers responded. The woman told police the man was not in uniform and did not have a badge that she could see. A police report on file does not indicate that the woman ever asked to see a badge or identification.
“If somebody’s not in uniform, if they’re not wearing a badge, if they don’t get out of a marked police vehicle, we really wouldn’t want her to open the door,” Foley said.
Foley said there could be legitimate reasons why an investigator would pay a visit like the woman described. But he can’t see any in this case.
“Based upon that and my experience, I would say that this is probably not a legitimate detective that was doing an investigation,” Foley said.
Dakota Bond, who lives downstairs from the woman, says news of the situation makes him nervous.
“I don’t tend to usually let people into my home, but it’s a lot easier to let someone in if you think they’re a police officer or something,” Bond said. “I probably wouldn’t be much different than anyone else. I would probably assume that I was supposed to let him in or something.”
Cliff Odell, who lives down the hall from the woman, says he’ll be keeping a close eye on people coming and going from his apartment building.
“Probably casing it to come back and try to do something later on at a later date,” Odell said. “You never know who it could be or what they could be doing.”
Foley wants to remind the public that you always have the right to ask for proof that you’re dealing with a real officer. You can ask to see a badge, identification or a search warrant.
“If a search warrant is obtained and it is presented and officers have a legitimate reason for being there, it’s been signed by a judge, the officers could eventually force entry if a person refuses to open the door,” Foley said.
Foley said you can also call 911 to ask a dispatcher to confirm a legitimate officer is at your location.