Officer impersonator on the run after stealing guns from LaBelle pawn shop

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Capital Pawn in LaBelle. Credit: WINK News.

A suspect accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer at a pawn shop is on the run. Investigators say he tied up employees there and got away with half a dozen guns.

Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed someone wearing a law enforcement uniform complete with a badge took six guns from Capital Pawn ono West Hickpochee Avenue in LaBelle.

Susan Garcia works right down the street from Capital Pawn. She never dreamed about a fake cop targeting her place of business until now.

“Where I work, I have to deal with money-wise and officer comes in we don’t know if he’s a real officer or not,” Garcia said.

First, the suspect tied up everyone inside.

“My son is in that pawn shop pretty often,” Don Rodriguez said. “Thank God he wasn’t there that day.”

Rodriguez has lived in LaBelle for over 30 years. A fake cop with lots of guns on the run worries him.

“All my family is here, my kids, my sons, my daughter, and I mean, they go shopping to places,” Rodriguez said. “What happens if they would have been in one?”

ATF told WINK News in a statement, it’s investigating whether there are similar holdups locally, specifically in Fort Myers and Hendry County.

Fort Myers Police Department told us the last fake cop case it investigated was more than a year ago. We have not received a response from Hendry County Sheriff’s Office about this yet for its own agency.

We spoke to the owner of Capital Pawn Thursday morning. He told us he never expected to be held up by a law enforcement officer. He’s happy everyone went home safe.

Garcia told us she won’t feel safe at work again until investigators catch the suspect.

“I’m alone. I have to close at night,” Garcia said. “It’s very scary. I hope they get him soon.”

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