MARION COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) — A teen in central Florida is accused of impersonating a sheriff’s deputy by stealing his uniform and patrol car, all to impress his girlfriend.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Isael Ibrain Lima.
According to investigators, Lima is the nephew of a sheriff’s deputy who reported a burglary at his home.
Deputy Yoandy Miranda told investigators on Sunday someone broke into his locked bedroom and patrol car while he was out of town.
It just so happened the name “Miranda” rang a bell with the deputy investigating the burglary because of an incident the night before.
Sergeant Levay, along with officers with the Belleview Police Department, responded to a call about a fight at a convenience store on Saturday, where he made contact with a “Deputy Miranda.”
Investigators said Lima, while in uniform, identified himself to police at the scene as an off-duty Marion County deputy. The Sheriff’s Office said Lima referred to himself as “Deputy Miranda” to Sgt. Levay as well.
Levay, according to authorities, didn’t know Miranda personally or realize someone was impersonating him.
However, the name clicked the next day when the real Deputy Miranda reported the burglary.
Investigators reviewed body camera video from Belleview police and determined the “Deputy Miranda” at the crime scene was actually Lima.
When questioned by detectives, Lima admitted to breaking into Miranda’s bedroom to take his uniform and equipment.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Lima told investigators he initially put on the uniform and drove the MCSO patrol car to his girlfriend’s house to impress her.
He also admitted to taking a friend along with him and doing a traffic stop in the stolen patrol car. The friend, according to investigators, shot video of the traffic stop. The video is now in the hands of Marion County investigators.
The Sheriff’s Office said Lima put his life on the line.
“I don’t think this man realized the danger he put himself in by trying to impersonate a deputy sheriff,” said Chief Deputy Robert Douglas. “Our deputies undergo extensive, ongoing training to be able to do their job safely. Ensuring public safety and trust are our priorities and this is why we take this type of crime so seriously,” Douglas said.
Lima is at the Marion County Jail on a bond of $33,000. He is facing charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, grant theft of a firearm, openly carrying a prohibited weapon, theft of law enforcement equipment, burglary, impersonating a law enforcement official and giving a false name to a law enforcement officer.