FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Parkview and Dupont Hospital employees have been warned about a man who is driving what looks like an unmarked police car. According to a security alert Parkview sent, the suspect has targeted women alone in their cars near hospitals. He is said to follow them or try to pull them over.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department and Fort Wayne Police Department say they have not received any documented reports on the threats. NewsChannel 15 has been told police can't investigate until someone involved in the alleged threats files a report with police.
UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon, NewsChannel 15 spotted an Indiana State Trooper at Parkview Regional Medical Center. State Police say a woman had a car shine a spotlight on her, but there are not many other details. This is said to be the first official report police have received on the impersonator.
Indiana State Police officials said they and other agencies in Allen County have been looking for the vehicle in question since Friday. The Allen County Sheriff's Department confirmed that its officers have been alerted of the suspicious vehicle and are aware of the situation, but reiterated that it is not investigating since a police report had not been filed with the sheriff's department.
Eric Clabaugh, Parkview Health's public information manager, said the hospital received information from its director of security about the potential threat late Tuesday afternoon. He is unsure where the pictures of the vehicle in question were obtained.
Clabaugh says Parkview Director of Security Tom Rhoades received information about the threats from an employee and contacted a police detective to see if it was valid. The detective is said to have confirmed that those reports were "real." Rhoades then asked if he could share it with Parkview employees. The detective is said to have told Rhoades he could.
Parkview security sent the following email to employees at all Parkview locations at around 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Dupont sent the same alert to employees at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday:
This information was received from local law enforcement and verified by the detectives involved: The photos [above] are of a car that is stopping women . . . The driver is a Male/White, short brown hair and hazel eyes.
City and county law enforcement agencies have had at least 4 incidents of women who have been either followed or stopped by a male, white driving a white car that looks like a police car. These incidents have all occurred on I-469, between 37 and I-69, or DuPont road area. Hospitals seem to be the attraction, along with lone female drivers. One female got a partial license plate that may have had a Stueben County prefix. Other information indicates the vehicle may have county reserve police plates. Again, this does not mean the driver is a police officer. One female said he was in some type of uniform with a clip board. As you can see by the pictures, he has handcuffs hanging from the rearview mirror.
If you believe you are being followed by this individual, call 911 immediately and tell police where you are located. Make sure your doors are locked. Keep driving to a public location and keep law enforcement on the phone. If you are stopped at a stop light, please leave room between yourself and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to pull around the stopped cars. If so, proceed with caution. If you see any suspicious activity on any Parkview property, please call security. If you are at any of our PPG sites, off campus, call 911.
If you are followed or get pulled over by a suspicious vehicle, Indiana State Police say:
- Call 9-1-1. Dispatchers will be able to confirm if it is an actual officer pulling you over.
- Keep your doors locked
- Put on your hazard lights. If it is a real officer, they will know you're not trying to flee from police.
- Drive to a public, well lit location.
- Only crack your window when the officer approaches your car.
- Ask the officer to identify himself or herself.
- Remember that a real officer in an unmarked police cruiser must be in uniform by law.
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