Thief steals police uniform, impersonates officer

Richmond County Ga. Oct. 26, 2007 Investigators say that a man may have used a stolen police uniform in an attempt to commit a crime and are urging the public to be cautious.
A man claiming to be a sergeant with the sheriff's office called Paulos Cleaners and Laundry, 2525 Peach Orchard Road, on Oct. 19 and said he would be picking up the uniforms in place of Deputy Ronald Phillips. The man, who is described as black and 6 feet tall, took four uniforms from the cleaners, according to a sheriff's report. A day later, police received a report that a man had called the Ace Cash Express on Walton Way and claimed to be investigating check fraud for the sheriff's office. When he arrived at the store, he was wearing a pair of pants similar to the ones stolen the previous day and a long-sleeve, gray shirt with a sheriff's tab on the right shoulder, according to sheriff's Maj. Ken Autry. The man left the store and did not return after a suspicious clerk demanded to see his badge.
Maj. Autry said the FBI and Homeland Security were notified after the theft, as were other departments in the area. He said anyone suspicious of an officer should demand to see a badge.
"It's perfectly legitimate for citizens to ask those questions," he said.
The sheriff's department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information can call the office at (706) 821-1080.

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