LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - A Lakewood family is on edge after a man impersonating a detective knocked on their front door and gathered personal information from a 17-year-old girl on Wednesday.
Speaking to 19 News with her mother’s permission, Alexis Davila said the man identified himself as a Lakewood detective and showed her a picture of a young African-American man.
“He asked me if he lives across the street,” she recalled. “I said ‘no, he doesn’t.’”
She said he persisted, asking her to describe the young man’s behavior.
Davila said she’s never seen the person in the photo.
“He asked if we’ve lived in our house for five or more years, which was a little puzzling. He took down our address, my name. It was kind of confusing.”
Davila told 19 News that the man parked a tan Chevy of some kind directly in front of their house on Beach Avenue, just north of Detroit Avenue.
After telling her mother, who was working from home at the time, about the incident, the two became concerned.
Her mother called police.
Captain Gary Stone with the Lakewood Police Department confirmed the man was not an employee of the department.
“They’ll clearly identify themselves with a badge and ID card if they’re indeed a plain clothes officer,” he said. “It’s important to be careful and be alert.”
He said this is not a common incident in the city, and urged anyone who experiences something similar to call police.
“This imposter spoke directly with a 17-year-old. That’s not going to happen with a legitimate detective. They’re going to talk to a parent first,” Stone added.
Davila thought she was simply doing the right thing by opening the door and speaking with the man.
“You’re taught to work with police officers and try to cooperate,” she said. “I started getting really nervous... It’s unsettling.”