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CHICAGO (STMW) – Police are urging motorists to use caution after a woman was stopped on Interstate 80/94 in northwest Indiana by two men pretending to be state police officers.
Sgt. Ann Wojas, public information officer for the Indiana State Police, said the 28-year-old woman was stopped between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. Saturday while westbound on the Borman Expressway near Kennedy Avenue.
Two men wearing dark clothing and claiming to be state police told the women her vehicle was suspicious and they had to search it. The men flashed what appeared to be badges and identified themselves as state police officers.
The vehicle the men were driving was a black police type vehicle, possibly a Ford Crown Victoria, with a red and blue light mounted in the front window. The driver used the emergency lights to pull the woman over.
Both men were wearing black clothing, clean shaven and with no visible tattoos or scars. One man was white, the other black.
When she exited the vehicle so it could be searched, the men proceeded to remove money and other personal items. When the victim tried to call 911, the men threw her phone. While the woman was outside of her vehicle she noticed the front rim on the alleged police vehicle was rusty and the car had no identifying marks.
Wojas said police are asking anyone who may have seen this “traffic stop” or unmarked vehicle to please call the Indiana State Police Lowell District at 219-696-6242. Any information may be important.
She said that to make a traffic stop in Indiana an officer must be either in uniform or in a marked vehicle.
“If an unmarked car does try to stop you and you do not feel safe we suggest you put your hazard lights on to show that you recognize that you are being stopped and drive to a well-lit area, busy with people area,” Wojas said.
“Call 911 or your local police and tell them you’re being stopped by an unmarked unit and driver. Prepare to give them location, description of vehicle, appearance and anything else observed,” she said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)