Man robbed by police impersonator during escort meeting

(WANE Photo)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man drove to an apartment complex to meet an escort he had connected with from Backpage, a Craiglist-style classifieds website, and was robbed Saturday evening in the parking lot by another man who claimed to be a police officer, according to a Fort Wayne police report.

Officers met the victim of the robbery in a Fort Wayne fire station lobby at approximately 1 p.m. The man told officers he had recently been on Backpage where he had found an escort. According to the report, the man said he’d been texting a number to set up a meeting, and was told to meet the escort at Richfield Apartments, in the 4700 block of Heatherwind Drive.

The man told officers he drove to the apartment complex and after driving through the parking lot, he saw another man looking at him. The man said that he stopped his vehicle to text the escort and then the man he had seen in the parking lot was now at his driver’s side car door.

According to the police report, the male suspect identified himself as a police officer and removed the man from his car, patted him down and took his wallet. The man asked the suspect for his badge, but the suspect told the man he was undercover and did not provide it.

The suspect was described by the victim as a black man with dreadlocks and a scar on his right eyebrow and nose, wearing skinny jeans, a black hoodie and two gold earrings. the report said. The man said the suspect was approximately 5’10” and that he was carrying a pair of handcuffs and a black Smith & Wesson handgun, the report said. He was confident in the model of the suspect’s gun because he had owned one recently.

The man said the suspect drove away in a black Impala bearing an Indiana license plate. The man then left the parking lot as well but realized the suspect was following him. The man alleged that the suspect pursued him until he reached the area of the Fort Wayne Fire Department Station 1 on Main Street, the report said.
At the station, the man told officers his losses included his wallet, an undisclosed amount of cash, an ATM card, a social security card, an ID and his driver’s license, according to the report. Officers searched the man’s phone and found text messages between the man and the supposed escort. Officers also found four pictures with what appeared to be at least two different females in the photos.

Officers instructed the man not to use Backpage to meet women, especially when he doesn’t know who he is communicating with and was told to contact police with anything else he may have forgotten during the conversation.

Dispatch was unable to find the plate number that the victim had given.