Man allegedly impersonated cop in theft attempt

EVERETT — For the fourth time in less than a year, a felon with a lengthy rap sheet has come under investigation for impersonating a police officer.

The Everett man’s most recent arrest occurred after he allegedly tried to use fake sheriff’s office identification on Saturday to convince a store employee to hand over new cell phones under the ruse that he was conducting a theft investigation.

“I’m not buying them,” he allegedly told the worker. “I’m trying to prevent someone from stealing.”

The worker had her doubts.

That’s when the suspect, 40, allegedly told her that she was impeding his investigation and that she would be arrested if she didn’t give him the phones, court papers said. She didn’t buy his story and wasn’t intimidated by his phony police identification. He left the store.

The next day Everett police watched store security video and a real police officer recognized the suspect, who has adult felony convictions for escape, burglary, theft and bank robbery.

Everett police officer Aaron Snell said the employee was justifiably skeptical.

“It wasn’t how we would conduct an official investigation,” Snell said. “If we are investigating something, we will work with the proper authorities within the business.”

In September, the same man was charged with attempting to elude police after a high-speed chase that started in downtown Everett and continued onto I-5. Police eventually tracked him to his home.

During a search of his bedroom, police found a badge that had been stolen from an Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy as well as two uniform shirts, complete with patches, and matching pants belonging from the same department. Handcuffs also were discovered.

When police searched his car, they found a bag that contained a duty belt with holster and pepper spray in a holder as well as police radios.

Neighbors reported seeing the suspect wearing law enforcement gear. Once, after police investigated a domestic violence complaint at his home, the man allegedly approached the neighbors, wearing a badge hanging from a chain around his neck. He reportedly claimed he was “with the Feds and in an investigation” and told the neighbors they should refrain from calling the police in the future “because I’ll get into trouble and you will go down with me,” court papers said.

An Everett District Court judge on Tuesday set bail at $25,000.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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