A warning about a crime spree in Alexandria. Police say the suspects are knocking on doors, claiming to be police officers. But, as Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver reports, they're robbing the victims instead.
Alexandria Police are on the lookout for several men wanted for posing as police officers and robbing women who posted escort ads online.
Investigators say the police imposters find the women through the online ads and go to their motel rooms.
"[The victims] hear someone knock on the door and announce that they're with the Alexandria Police Deptartment," said police spokesperson Crystal Nosal. "And if they look through the peephole, they're going to see people with masks on."
Nosal says at least two men, possibly as many as three, are acting as phony officers and are covering their faces.
"Some of our officers, when working undercover, will wear masks, [but] there will always be a police officer that you can clearly identify with his identification who is not wearing a mask," Nosal said.
Once the door opens, the men take the victim's money and valuables then flee the scene.
Police said it's happened at least twice in the past month, on Dec. 2 and Dec. 22, at the Extended Stay on N. Breckenridge Place and at the Washington Suites on S. Reynolds Street.
Both robberies happened in the early morning hours and both victims had advertised escorting services online.
"That's how the suspects are locating them," Nosal said.
Investigators worry that other similar crimes have gone unreported because the victims are afraid to call police, fearing that they'll get in trouble for posting escort ads.
"There's certainly a possibility that there could be more [victims]," Nosal said. "We have two right now, but we want any victims to come forward."