Author says Dallas PD wrongfully IDed her as a theft suspect

The Dallas Police Department issued a statement apologizing to Dr. Tamara Pizzoli.  Here’s the full DPD statement: On November 29, 2017, detectives were contacted by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli who is the individual in the picture that was posted on the Dallas Police Department's Blog. She stated that this was her photo, but she was not in Dallas and was not involved in this crime. Dallas Police detectives did further follow up with this additional information and determined that the person in the photograph listed as a suspect may be a victim of impersonation. The detectives continue the investigation to find the suspect who committed these offenses. The social media posts were removed from the department's social media sites. We apologize for any inconvenience to Dr. Tamera Pizzoli. Detectives are still seeking information on this forgery offense and it remains an open and active investigation.

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A children’s book author is demanding that the Dallas Police Department make a public apology and a retraction after posting her photo online and accusing her of being a thief.

Dallas police posted a photo of a woman they thought was responsible for a counterfeit cash scheme. It turns out the woman in the picture saw it and came forward, claiming this is all a case of mistaken identity.

There is strong evidence that Dallas police issued an alert for a thief using the photo of an innocent woman. The woman who appeared to be the suspect in the case says she too is a victim. She lives in Europe and wants Dallas police to explain how and why this happened.

Whitney Barrett is the theft victim. She advertised her wedding rings for sale through the online service “Offer Up” and then met up with a woman who paid her more than $500. But the cash turned out to be fake.

"I pulled up and sold her the ring,” Barrett recalled. “She told me she had to hurry up and go, that her fiancée had a Lyft ride he had to go pick up. He drives for Lyft. It was a quick transaction. She counted the money out and drove off."

Barrett gave police the profile photo of the woman she negotiated with online and confidently told them that is who she met with. But the picture actually belongs to Dr. Tamara Pizzoli .

"I clicked on it and was just horrified,” the doctor recalled. “Honestly, I laughed at first and thought, ‘No way. This has to be some type of a prank.’”

Pizzoli is a children's book author and former Dallas resident who currently lives in Rome, Italy.  On the day of the theft, she says she was preparing to give birth to her fourth child. She says she’s livid.

"The Dallas police department, I'm asking for — not asking, demanding — a public apology and retraction because it’s my name and my face,” Pizzoli said.

Dallas police have removed the alert from its crime blog, but Pizzoli wants a thorough explanation from police and believes she is a victim, too.

"Every minute that my image is out there associated with terms like 'thief' or 'deceptive' or 'police are looking for this woman,' I'm incurring damages — personally and professionally,” she said.

"I thought it was her,” Barrett said. “She did a good job of picking someone with a strong resemblance to her."

Dallas police responded late Wednesday afternoon, but only to say they are still looking into the incident. They have yet to offer an explanation as to why they removed the post from their crime blog.

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