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San Jose police are looking for a man who has been impersonating a police officer to steal cash from victims’ wallets during searches, police said.The man, described as a Asian or Filipino man between 170 and 180 pounds, 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall, and 29 or 30 years old, is suspected to have committed at least three different robberies since March 23.
The first was reported on March 23 when the suspect approached a fruit vendor near Hellyer Avenue and Palisade Drive, telling him he was a police officer, showing a badge and searching the vendor. He went through the vendor’s pockets and walked a few feet away to speak into a police-type radio. After returning the items he took from the vendor’s pockets, he left the area in an early 2000s dark green mini-van.
The vendor later realized that cash had been stolen from his wallet. Two similar incidents happened on Tuesday in East San Jose. The man again approached a fruit vendor near Arroyo Park at around 3:45 p.m. Using the same technique, he stole cash from that man’s wallet. Later, he stopped a pedestrian near Sunset and Stowe avenues and stole cash from that victim as well. Police detectives believe the incidents are related and are asking residents to call 911 and report any encounter with the phony officer.
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