In an attempt to catch a man who had been exposing himself to Amish children, a male police sergeant in western Pennsylvania spent several cold days walking around the streets dressed up as an Amish woman.
According to the New York Daily News, the man police were looking for had been exposing himself to Amish children as they walked home from school. Officers said they knew the man’s vehicle, and were able to trail his car every day as he drove around.
They were never, however, able to catch the man actually approaching any children.
As Sergeant Chad Adams of Pulaski Township said, “We wanted to catch him in the act.”
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After trailing the man’s car proved unsuccessful, and because the Amish parents didn’t want their children to testify in court, officers decided to approach the problem from a completely new angle.
And so it came to be that, after several weeks of surveillance, Adams, accompanied by a female officer, dressed up in Amish-style clothing in a fresh attempt to catch the perpetrator.
Adams, 39, turned to the children’s parents to see if he could borrow some women’s outfits. Under different circumstances, Amish would find men dressing as women absurd or offensive; this case proved to be an exception.
“They agreed and set me up with something that fit,” Adams recalls. “They had us hooked up with bonnets, aprons, dresses and shawls.”
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With their duty belts, bulletproof vests, handcuffs and radios – and a loaded gun – hidden beneath their new Amish clothing, the two officers spent about two weeks in January walking around the roads that the man had been spotted on.
“We figured if he was driving down the road and saw what he thought were Amish women walking he wouldn’t notice I was a guy until he got out of the vehicle,” Adams said.
Only after the search ended were the details of the investigation revealed. The suspect is now believed to have been caught in a different county.