Monday, February 5, 2007
Police Impersonator Ring ArrestedLos Angeles: Los Angeles detectives have released the names of three men arrested over the weekend for a robbery and other crimes perpetrated while disguised as police officers. A victim provided a license plate number to a Crown Victoria used in the crimes. Each man is being held on $150,000 bail.
Police officers arrested 41-year-old Andre Rennell Hadden on Friday, February 2, just after midnight, when Newton Police Station officers spotted the wanted black Crown Victoria parked in the 7-11 parking lot at Figueroa Street and Adams Boulevard. Identification cards found in the car led police to Jeron Desmond Jackson, 26, and John Bernard Shepard, 29.
A Hispanic food vendor in his fifties reported that two Black men had seized $200 from him in South Park, located at 51st Street and Towne Avenue, on January 29, around 10 PM. The two men were dressed in police uniforms and issued the vendor a citation for illegal vending. The same two men returned to the park on February 1, around 6 PM, and tried to shake down the same vendor, who wrote down the license plate of the Crown Victoria.
The Crown Victoria resembled an unmarked car used by police detectives. It has flood lamps on the side and a metal partition between the front and rear seats. Police now believe the ring has been operating for at least two weeks, and detectives are hoping other victims will come forward.
The ring tended to focus on Hispanic victims, hoping their cover would be more believable to persons less accustomed to contact with local law enforcement and victims less apt to report a crime to police.
Once the suspects were arrested, officers discovered a .45 caliber Glock handgun, police citations books from the State of Michigan, police uniforms, ballistic vests, police radio scanners, and a list of LAPD radio frequencies.
Photographs of the three men will be released tomorrow after they are arraigned in court. Detectives do not want to taint witness and victims' ability to identify the suspects' photographs by releasing the photographs prematurely.
Anyone with information is asked to call Newton Street Detectives Joseph Harris or Michael Smith at 323-846-5363. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855). Callers may remain anonymous.