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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

February 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Suspected cop impersonator arrested in Auburn

(Seattle Police Department photo)

Seattle police have arrested a man suspected of posing as a cop to commit a series of robberies in Seattle parks.

Police arrested 46-year-old Ryan James Purdy (pictured at right) yesterday after he told a fellow bus passenger about being wanted for impersonating a cop. Bad move.

The passenger got off the bus and called police.

When Auburn police arrived, Purdy tried giving officers a fake name, but he was arrested.

Police have been searching for Purdy, aka Tracy Byers, since December, after he allegedly flashed a fake badge and robbed several people in Volunteer Park.

More recently, police say Purdy robbed a man around 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 near North 50th Street and Woodland Park Avenue North at Woodland Park. The victim was approached by a man believed to Purdy, who asked him to examine a box of pornographic magazines left in the grass inside the park.

The victim, concerned children in the park would find the magazines, picked up the box and took it to his car, police said.

The man believed to be Purdy followed the victim and climbed inside his car. He then flashed a badge, claimed he was doing a “drug sting” and said he needed to pat down the victim, police said.

During the pat-down, the man took the victim’s wallet, rifled through it and returned it, according to police. The “cop” then retrieved the box of magazines and left, police say. The victim drove off.

About an hour later, the victim realized his bank card was missing from his wallet and had since been used at a grocery store, according to police.

In a separate incident, police say they believe Purdy knocked on the door of a Capitol Hill home and told a woman there that he was a federal agent. The woman slammed the door in his face.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Auburn, impersonating a police officer, Seattle


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