DENVER (CBS4) – Police chalk that remains on Sarah Jackson’s windshield tells the story of a nightmarish case of mistaken identity for the Stapleton woman.
On Aug. 17 Jackson called Denver police to report that her Honda Fit had been stolen from her home in the Stapleton neighborhood.
Officers told her to her surprise that the car had been impounded in connection with a robbery at a Famous Footwear store near her home.
The next day, Jackson met with an officer to pick up her car.
“I thought they were going to give me my car and tell me what happened and it would clear everything up,” she told CBS4.
Instead, she was taken into a police interrogation room. She learned that a security guard had allegedly followed her home after the robbery and identified her car. She was a prime suspect in the case.
Jackson told the officer she hadn’t left her home on the day of the robbery.
“She told me I was a liar several times, that I was lying and that she had witnesses,” Jackson said. “She told me I could get my car back when I was ready to tell the truth.”
Jackson then left the police precinct she had been taken to in a stunned state. She said she was speechless and intimidated.
Three days later the officer called Jackson and said the security guard had identified the wrong car.
“It was an ordeal,” said Jackson. “I really respect police and I’m so glad they’re here to keep the peace and law and order, but I just feel I was treated like a criminal.”
Denver police Detective John White offered an apology to Jackson in an interview with CBS4 about the case.
“We’d just like to apologize to Mrs. Jackson and to let her know that as soon we were able to get good accurate information, we acted on it and tried to make it right,” he said.
Jackson said she’s happy that police returned her car, but she is telling her story in an attempt to help others avoid the same experience.
“I would like people in positions of power to be more careful and use some common sense and consideration before using intimidation tactics,” Jackson said.