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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Southern California

Sheriff's Investigate Man Impersonating Deputy

A man dressed as a sheriff deputy stopped a motorist Tuesday morning, then fled.

South Los Angeles Sheriff Detectives are investigating a report of a man who is believed to be impersonating a motorcycle deputy Tuesday morning.

L.A. Sheriff detectives are investigating a report of a man impersonating a deputy. (Photo Courtesy AP)
L.A. Sheriff detectives are investigating a report of a man impersonating a deputy. (Photo Courtesy AP)

According to a press release by the South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station, a man dressed as as sheriff, riding a motorcycle with flashing blue and red lights pulled over a driver in Lawndale, near 147th Street and Inglewood Avenue.

The motorist asked what sheriff station the man was assigned to, but after being asked the individual got back on his motorcycle and "rapidly sped off."

The man is described as a 35-40 year old white male. He was wearing a tan uniform shirt and green pants, which appeared to be similar to the uniform worn by L.A. County deputy sheriffs. The badge he was wearing appeared to be fake.

"People who impersonate peace officers erode the public's trust in law enforcement and undermine the authority of legitimate peace officers," said Lieutenant Jeff Adams.

The L.A. Sheriff's Department has released the following tips to help motorists "ensure the legitimacy" of a traffic stop:

  • Try to stop in a well lit area or in an area that can be seen by the general public.
  • Ask for the officer or deputy to identify him/herself. All deputy sheriffs are required to carry their department issued I.D. card when they are on duty.
  • Take note of any unusual or odd uniform markings.
  • Be aware of any strange requests or overly personal questions being asked.
  • When in doubt, ask to speak to a supervisor.
  • Trust your instincts.

The South Los Angeles Sheriff's Station is asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call the South L.A. Detective Bureau at (323) 820-6700. To anonymously report any information call L.A. Crime Stoppers at (800)222-TIPS (8477). 

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