A man posing as a King County sheriff’s deputy in unincorporated Renton bolted when spotted by a real deputy Friday night, eluding a search that included the sheriff’s helicopter and a tracking K-9.
The imposter, wearing a navy colored T-shirt that said “SHERIFF,’ told residents of an apartment complex that he was looking for an auto-theft suspect. But to the residents, the man lacked a “police presence” - that, and whenever they asked to see his identification, he would interrupt and keep talking, sheriff’s Det. Jason Stanley said.
The imposter’s getup also included a holstered revolver and some kind of walkie talkie, the sheriff’s office said.
The suspicious residents called 911. A real deputy, who happened to be nearby, arrived soon after and spotted the impersonator from about 200 feet away. When the real deputy pointed his flashlight at the fake deputy, the fake deputy ran behind a fence and out of sight.
A search that included the sheriff’s helicopter and a dog trained to track turned up empty. Investigators believe the man probably got into a nearby car and split.
The sheriff’s office doesn’t know what the imposter was up to. One possibility is that he was looking for the supposed car thief and figured this was one way to find him. Or maybe “he was looking to get his kicks,” Stanley said.
The apartment-complex residents described the man as about 5-8 and 180 pounds, in his 30s, with dark brown hair and olive skin. The sheriff’s office asks that anyone with information on the case call (206) 296-3311.