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Lawrence police warn of police impersonator

Lawrence police warn of police impersonator
Posted at 1:59 PM, Mar 19, 2016

LAWRENCE, Ind. -- Lawrence Police say a suspected police impersonator stole cash and a cell phone from someone Friday afternoon. 

The victim told police he was driving north on I-465 near the East 56th Street and Shadeland Avenue exit around noon when he was pulled over by someone he later realized was a police impersonator. 

The suspected impersonator was driving a newer model dark gray Dodge Charger with tinted windows and had no law enforcement markings. The car had flashing red and blue police lights near the interior rear view mirror. 

The driver of the Dodge Charger approached the victim, asked for his license and registration and then asked the victim to step out of his vehicle. The suspected impersonator searched the victim, then asked to search the victim's car. 

After searching the car, the suspected impersonator dropped the victim's license and registration on the ground, returned to his car and sped off northbound on I-465. The victim later realized the person had stolen cash and his business phone from inside his vehicle. 

The suspected impersonator is described as a 40-year-old white man, standing 6' to 6'2" tall, weighing 200 pounds, with a shaved head, no facial hear, wearing a plain front black t-shirt with the word "Sheriff" on the back, and light colored blue jeans. He had a handgun on his right side in a holster, but did not have a visible badge.

The victim believes the suspect started following him somewhere near I-70 and North Post Road. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477. 

Police say a law enforcement officer may not arrest or issue a ticket to someone unless the officer is: 

  • Wearing a distinctive uniform and a badge of authority; or 
  • Operating a motor vehicle that is clearly marked as a police vehicle; that will clearly show the officer or the officer's vehicle to casual observations to be an officer or police vehicle. 
  • Most law enforcement agencies require that officers display identification such as an official badge of authority and/or photographic identification depicting the officer's agency, name, and unique identifying number of that officer, when requested. Refusal to provide the information can be another indicator that the person may not be an actual law enforcement officer 

If a person is concerned about the authenticity of a law enforcement officer, they should call 911, report the location and situation, and ask for an officer to respond to the scene immediately. 

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