FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) -- Parkview employees have been warned of a vehicle that resembles a police car, that is targeting women and then following them or attempting to stop them. This has been circulating around Facebook most of the morning.
Allen County, DeKalb County, Steuben County and Fort Wayne police officials have said that they have no information regarding the security alert issued by Parkview Security. No Fort Wayne officer has been involved in any investigation regarding this vehicle or suspect.
Below is the email sent to employees by Tom Rhoades, Director of Security at Parkview Health.
This information was received from local law enforcement and verified by the detectives involved: The photos below 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.
Rhoades has not been able to be reached for comment.
Following the social media frenzy, John Kaufeld, Online Marketing Specialist at IPFW, spoke with NBC33 about the consequences of sharing information via social media without considering the questionable information.
"This is a great example of the power and danger of viral social media," Kaufeld shared with NBC33. "The report strikes a chord with people on a number of levels, ranging from 'my friends needs to know this' to 'this could happen to me' to 'this is so crazy.'"
Kaufeld warned of the questions that may need to be answered before sharing such information, such as how the photo was taken but the suspect hasn't been apprehended or how the report from Parkview reads that the information was verified without saying exactly where it came from.
Kaufeld added that "local law enforcement also need to maintain a responsive social media presence to get on top of these reports and respond to them."
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