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Police Impostor Burglarizes an Elderly Redding Woman's Home

By Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Stephanie Vatz, Online Manager
Published On: Nov 27 2012 03:28:38 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 28 2012 12:45:33 PM CST
REDDING, Calif. -

An 87-year-old Redding woman woke up on Sunday morning to a burglary by a man who identified himself as a police officer.

The homeowner, Elizabeth Leach, said she was awakened around 1:50 a.m. on Sunday.

"All of a sudden, I looked out through [my bedroom door] and here was a man with a flashlight and it seemed like there might have been more than one," Leach said.

"I'm not sure, but it just seemed like flashlights were going all over my living room and it kind of made me mad. I raised up and I said what on Earth are you doing out there and he said 'Oh, we're the police. We're from the police. There's been a murder down the street and the murderer may be in your house and we're looking for him.' He said get in the bathroom and stay there," said Leach.

Leach said she locked herself in the bathroom for almost two hours. She said she could hear the suspect rummaging through drawers and moving around in her home.

Leach said the suspect spoke to her through the bathroom door and asked if she had valuables in the residence. After she thought the suspect had left, Leach told police she waited an additional 30 minutes before calling them.

Leach's stolen property included her 2003 Toyota Avalon, along with pieces of jewelry she said are family heirlooms.

The car was recovered unoccupied on Monday in a parking lot in the 900 block West Street.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, about 5'8''tall, weighing around 180 lbs. and wearing a black t-shirt.

Leach said there is a possibility that the suspect may know her or know their way around her home.

Redding Police is investigating the robbery and encourages citizens with information to call the Redding Police Dept. Investigations Division at 225-4214 or Shasta County Secret Witness at 243-2319.

A reward of $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest of the suspect.