A 14-year-old boy arrested for pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy launched phony investigations and pulled people over while driving around his Southern California neighbourhood in an SUV equipped with flashing blue and red lights, authorities said.
The unidentified teen was taken into custody Tuesday after deputies found counterfeit money, fake guns, ballistic vests and other law enforcement-related items in his home, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
The probe was launched a day earlier when a Victorville homeowner reported that someone, who was driving an unmarked Ford Explorer with flashing lights and who was wearing a sheriff’s uniform with a gun holster, came to the house and said he was investigating a domestic disturbance. The homeowner told him that there was no problem and that nobody had called police.
Detectives determined that the boy interacted with at least two other people while impersonating a deputy. On the same day, the teen pulled a woman over and gave her a warning before letting her go, officials said.
Deputies later stopped the SUV and found the uniformed teen inside.
The SUV belonged to the teen’s great-grandmother, according to the San Bernardino Sun newspaper. It wasn’t clear if the boy lived with his great-grandmother or how he was able to access the vehicle.
The boy, who was on probation at the time of his arrest, was held at a juvenile detention centre east of Los Angeles.