INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis woman is behind bars accused of impersonating police and using the fake identity to rob a store on Indy’s near east side.
Police were dispatched to the Mini Mart on E. 10th Street on December 1. Investigators said a woman there said she was a police officer, showed a badge and demanded money from the clerk.
The crime was all caught on camera. The suspect could be seen coming in on consecutive days with a police badge around her neck.
That woman told the clerk that she was an undercover officer there to inspect his store.
“She just acting like police, and the reason I opened the door was because she’s police. What am I going to say, ‘No I’m not going to open that door for you?'” said the clerk Nabil “JJ” Alshawesh.
After the clerk let the woman go behind the counter, the suspect demanded payment to avoid further harassment from police.
IMPD said she eventually stole a box of clothes, coins, cigarettes and even the clerk’s handgun.
“I was freezing. I was freezing, like what to do and what do I say? The police are doing that?” said JJ.
Cameras showed the same woman then returned the next day and wedged open the door while wearing a badge.
That time, JJ called the real police.
The suspect, Tyjwania Spradley, left the store but was quickly spotted and arrested for impersonating police and robbery.
Officers spotted the suspect driving away from the business and stopped in the 1300 block of N. Dearborn Street. Police said the woman was seen tossing a badge she used to pose as a police officer out of the window as she was stopped.
“All of that is preventable if the rest of the criminal justice system would do their job,” said Indy FOP president Rick Snyder.
Court records show Spradley was arrested for a separate theft charge in April and twice failed to appear in court. A judge issued arrest warrants both times, but the suspect had been on the streets illegally since August.
“The reason we keep talking about this, it sounds like a broken record, because it’s a broken system,” said Snyder.
Luckily, no one got hurt in this case, but police encourage anyone who’s suspicious about an officer’s identity to request a supervisor and call police themselves.
“When we have someone posing as a police officer, that affects us. We want everyone to be safe and feel well protected,” said IMPD officer Genae Cook.
The suspect remains behind bars at the Marion County Jail on an $80,000 bond. She’s due in court for an initial hearing on Tuesday.