Johnson County sheriff warns of possible police impersonator

FRANKLIN, Ind. — The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is issuing a warning to drivers about a possible police impersonator.

A 65-year-old woman told police she was driving northbound on Nineveh Road near State Road 252 when she saw what she thought was a police vehicle behind her with its lights and siren on. She described the vehicle as an unmarked white SUV with lights on top.

The woman says a man got out of the SUV but didn’t look like an officer. She added that he wasn’t wearing a uniform but rather a faded brown police shirt and pants, and a badge on his chest that looked fake. The woman says suspicions were further raised when she noticed that his duty belt didn’t have anything on it except for a holster and a gun that looked fake.

The man reportedly asked the woman “Do you know what you did wrong?” According to a police report, the woman then drove off when he asked her to hand over her ID and ordered her out of the car when she refused.

“I think this lady probably made a good decision in what she did,” said Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox.

Cox says no deputy reported being in the area at the time of the stop, which further fueled suspicions of an impersonator.

“There are a lot of things about this that tell us this was a police impersonator,” he said.

Cox added that one thing that seems unusual about the case is that the impersonator had lights bolted on top of the SUV. He says normally impersonators try to be more discreet.

“With a light bar permanently mounted to the vehicle, that’s not something you just go home and take off. So, there are some unusual facts about this. And once again it’s concerning enough that we do have an investigator assigned to the case,” Cox said.

For now, Cox says he wants residents to be aware of the imposter.

“There’s no good intention of a police impersonator. Whatever that individual has on their mind, we’re just not going to allow that type of thing to happen, not only in this community, but any community,” he said.

Cox says if you find yourself in a situation you’re not comfortable with after being pulled over, you can always ask for the officer to move the stop to a more public place. He added that any legitimate officer also shouldn’t have a problem with you requesting another officer join the stop to help confirm their identity.

“Folks really do need to be careful. We want people to be safe out here,” he said.