Police: Man stole from restaurant while posing as undercover officer

Local News

Columbus Division of Police are looking for a man who is accused of stealing from a downtown restaurant by posing as a police officer.

Officers say the man asked to use a restroom at the Rio Fresh Cafe on Sept 18.

An employee explained that there were no public restrooms. But the man, who had a badge on his belt along with what looked like a Walkie-Talkie, persisted saying that he was an undercover police officer from Cleveland.

Police say while the man was in the back of the restaurant he stole a purse, cash and a company credit card.

From there, the suspect went to Condado Tacos in the Short North where he used the credit card. The restaurant’s surveillance cameras recorded video of him sitting at the bar.

Sgt. Chantay Boxill says undercover officers are not likely to identify themselves as police officers if they’re inside a business. But says if they do, it’s OK to ask for proof.

“Double check, make sure that this is actually a police officer,” Boxill said. “A Columbus police officer will have a badge and will have a picture ID on them.”

Anyone with info on this suspect’s identity is asked to contact Det. Thomas in CPD’s Burglary Unit at 614-645-2127 or jthomas@columbuspolice.org.

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