The Fake Badge
Filed under the category of things you don't ever expect to happen to you personally, comes this experience from last week. Basically, I got confronted by a guy passing himself off as a police officer when he wasn't.
While standing behind the counter at my part-time job, this guy comes in and whips out a badge from under his shirt. It was on a chain just like the movies. He didn't give his name but only said they were looking for a particular person. I leaned in to take a look at the badge - mainly because I didn't have my glasses on - and realized he had his hand cupped over it so I couldn't read it. Then he whipped it right back under his shirt. Red Flag One. It also irritated me.
He thrust a photo in front of me of the guy he was searching for in this manhunt. The photo was on a plain piece of paper, run off someone's home printer from a badly scanned pic. While he is going on about the guy - who I had never seen - but who he described as 5'1", long hair, and weighing 250 pounds (basically he was looking for an obese long-haired pygmy) - I was noticing his shirt.
The shirt, resembling a garage mechanic's, was embroidered with USCA. I started thinking to myself, I know most of the security agencies, who the hell is USCA??? After confronting a couple other workers, and as I started to ask a pointed question, the guy avoided the manager and left as quickly as he came in.
My first reaction was to say, that guy was no cop. After some back and forth, the others consented they didn't buy into him being law enforcement either. The fact he looked like he was in desperate need of a shower and had his shirt buttoned wrong, were also Red Flags.
Still, no one at the store wanted to call the real cops. Mainly because at the store, like most people, no one enjoys interacting with real cops. You never know what you are getting into once you start down that road. But the incident kept bugging me and so I repeatedly brought it up over the next hour or two.
Then the next shift came in and this high school girl who is always full of life and humor, says, "Yeah, we had this weirdo come in last night and flash a badge, saying he was an investigator." Turns out it was the same guy and he had tried to pump her for some personal information. Definitely a Red Flag!
I looked at the manager and said, hey, if you don't want to make the call, I will. He relented and told me to call from the office. Consequently, I ended my shift making out a police report. To her credit, the female co-worker got a look at the vehicle he was driving. An old SUV. Apparently, he couldn't get his hands on one of those black SUV's they use in the movies. Guess the fake badge busted the budget.
Fortunately, he hasn't been back and that bizarre incident has been filed under, "Huh, go figure..." Makes for a different kind of blog post though.