Seeing as how many of our posts have to do with police misconduct, it's no wonder that there are criminals out there who are impersonating police officers in order to commit crimes. If you watch the news at all, you'd be likely to think that there's not an honest cop out there.
But we know that there are many upstanding, hard-working police out there, and that these kind of scams are the worst kind. Playing on decent citizens' law-abiding ways, these two men used their SUV and a flashing red light to pull over the victim in the small hours of Sunday morning.
When the victim pulled to the side of Douglas Street in Santa Ana, Gary Echevarria exited the SUV and approached the victim's car. According to Santa Ana police Commander Steve Colon, Echevarria, 42, identified himself as a police officer (although he was not wearing a uniform, just dark clothing) and ordered the victim to the back of his partner's SUV. At that point, Echevarria took the victim's wallet, cell phone and jewelry and then ordered the victim to sit on a curb. Echevarria then fled the scene with the SUV's driver, who has been identified as Juan Rodriguez, also 42, from Costa Mesa.
Later that night, officers stopped a 2007 GMC Yukon near 17th Street and Tustin Avenue for its tinted windows and missing license plate. When the officers investigated the SUV further, they found the stolen property and the red flasher, linking the occupants to the earlier incident. In addition to the aforementioned items, the officers found more cell phones, which has led them to believe that there are more victims.
Echevarria and Rodriguez were arrested on suspicion of robbery, impersonating an officer and possession of a controlled substance. There is no report yet on how much time they could serve if convicted.
Have you been a victim of this duo? If so, police ask you to call (714) 245-8545 to report it and help their investigation.
Have you been the victim of a crime? Have you committed a crime and need representation? Please call the Law Offices of Glew & Kim immediately on 866-416-2161, or use our online form for a Free Case Analysis. We believe in equal access to justice for all.
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- See more at: http://glewkimlaw.com/blog/2011/10/24/impersonating-officers-to-rob-orange-county-drivers/#sthash.ejkEwdhS.dpuf