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Public's help sought in case of fake police officer seen in Santa Rosa

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is seeking help from anyone who thinks they may have been approached by a man impersonating a police officer.

The plea comes in the wake of a traffic stop made by the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Team earlier this month when a man was pulled over driving a former police vehicle and carrying items associated with police operations, including a fake silver badge and crime scene tape.

Deputies stopped the man on Marlow Road on the evening of July 18. He was driving an all-white Ford Crown Victoria they said appeared to be a former police vehicle that had been sold at auction.

A records check of the driver found that he did not have a current license and when his car was searched by deputies, they found several items, including a police scanner, heavy flashlight, handcuffs in a belt-handcuff case, a digital recorder and black gloves.

In addition, a K-9 police dog indicated there may have been drugs in the car, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The driver was described as a Latino adult, 6 feet tall and over 260 pounds. At the time, he had short black hair and a goatee, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which also said he is a documented gang member with visible tattoos. They said his name and photo were not released because he was not charged for any violation on the night he was stopped.

However, the Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from anyone who may have had contact with the man and believes he was trying to impersonate a peace officer.

The investigations tip line is 565-2185.

You can reach Staff Writer Elizabeth M. Cosin at 521-5276 or elizabeth. cosin@pressdemocrat.com.

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