What’s the easiest way to impersonate a police officer? How about having access to police vehicles because you’re a dealership employee? The appropriate local dealership often maintains police vehicles, so the mechanics driving them is nothing new. However, one man decided to take it a few steps further. Here’s how a Florida Ford dealership employee faces felony charges for impersonating police using a Camaro police car.
Florida Ford dealership employee impersonating police
A man faces a felony charge after being arrested for impersonating a police officer in Jacksonville, Florida. He used a service vehicle to pull over another car on the road. Last week, a Chevrolet Camaro belonging to the Green Cove Springs Police Department was in the dealership for service purposes. According to Automotive News, the vehicle was at Duval Ford so that the dealership could install police lights.
Ford employee Fernando Torres was supposed to transport the car back to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on December 30. An on-duty officer witnessed the man driving a yellow Camaro turn on the police lights and pull another car over. The real police officer stopped nearby to help with the traffic stop.
A real police officer witnessed the fake traffic stop
When the man in the Camaro saw the real officer, he drove away. Consequently, the officer became very confused at the strange behavior of a fellow cop.
“I believed it to be suspicious for another officer not to wait and notify me that my efforts were appreciated,” the officer wrote in the police report. This officer ran the plate of the yellow Camaro, discovered the police department owned it, and eventually learned that it was a Duval Ford employee driving.
Forida Ford dealership employee arrested, charged with impersonating an officer felony
A few days later, on January 4, Torres was arrested. Unlawful use of blue lights and false impersonation of officials were his charges. False impersonation of officials is a felony; however, Torres is out on bail with no trial date set yet.
Duval Ford fired Torres soon after the incident. Duval Ford president Alex Graham told Automotive News that the dealership “fully cooperated with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.”
Do other places use Camaro police vehicles?
Camaros are police vehicles sometimes in other places too. For example, police used Chevy Camaro ghost cop cars to catch bad drivers in Texas. Although in many places police use graphics and bright colors to make police cars noticeable, these are the opposite. According to a report by CarBuzz, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas put white police graphics on a white Camaro to make it look like any other Camaro on the street.
Police use this tactic to hide among the population in their “ghost cop cars,” waiting for someone to drive illegally. These cars don’t have top emergency lights, which would be a dead giveaway. Instead, they only have reflective white graphics on the white paint, which are very difficult to spot from a distance.
In conclusion, if you’re a mechanic who works on a police car, don’t try to pull anyone over. You never know when a friendly officer will come by to help, and you’ll end up with a felony. Although a Camaro police car can be tempting to take for an extra-long drive, the lights should stay off.