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Mistake causes Noblesville police to pull over and handcuff wrong woman

Error causes police to pull over wrong car

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Noblesville Police Department says a mistake in a national crime data reporting system caused officers to pull over the wrong vehicle.

It happened Sept. 12 after Noblesville Police picked up a “bolo” for a stolen vehicle out of Indianapolis. Officers stopped a vehicle matching the description near Campus Parkway and I-69.

A woman and her child were taken out of the car, and the woman was placed in handcuffs.

“During that conversation after we controlled the scene, stopped everything that was going on, it was during that discussion, we realized the information that was put into the computer must have been wrong because we had the rightful owner of that vehicle with us,” said Noblesville Police Lt. Bruce Barnes.

When a police agency, in this case, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, reports a vehicle stolen, it’s the reporting agency’s responsibility to enter the information into the National Crime Information Center’s database where police agencies across the country can see it.

However, the wrong information was put in the system.

“We discovered that the driver of the vehicle that we had stopped, her name was Amber, and her last name was the same last name of the person who had reported her vehicle stolen to IMPD, the only difference is the Ambra with the same last name lived in Indianapolis,” said Barnes.

Noblesville Police contacted the owner of the car before making the stop and the owner told them the vehicle had not been recovered.

Noblesville officers had no idea the car they were pulling over wasn’t stolen until after they pulled the driver out. Barnes defends how his agency approached the situation.

“A stolen vehicle by its nature is a very high-risk stop for us, now you put into that scenario that there is a stolen gun,” said Barnes.

News 8 contacted IMPD for comment on this story, but a spokesperson Friday told News 8 no one was available to speak on camera.