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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Fake immigration agent sought

February 27, 2009|Richard Winton

Police are searching for a man posing as a federal immigration agent who handcuffed, abducted and robbed a man near downtown, authorities said Thursday.

The phony Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, wearing a bulletproof vest and a sidearm, flashed a badge Saturday in the 1400 block of Wright Street and detained two men in front of their residence, authorities said.

He then handcuffed one individual and placed him in a black sport utility vehicle, said Lt. Paul Vernon. The impostor drove the man a short distance and released him after the victim told him to take the money from his wallet.

The impostor was wearing an olive-drab-colored police bulletproof vest over a white T-shirt, Vernon said. He also wore blue pants and a tan gun belt with a gun in the holster.

A witness described the man's black Chevrolet Suburban as having red and blue lights on one visor, possibly to simulate a police vehicle, Vernon said.

The victim was able to record two characters on the license plate, 2 and J.

The impersonator is described as a Latino man in his 40s, 5 feet 2 and weighing 230 pounds.

-- Richard Winton

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