Does your heart sink a little when you are pulled over by a police officer? Every time you pass a parked patrol car, you slow down even if you are within the speed limit. We have immediate reactions when we encounter authority. What if the “official” you saw was an impostor? Would you know or would you be too nervous not to notice?
Earlier this month, an individual posed as an undercover officer here in New York and was able to leave the scene with a gun and the victim’s personal information. What would you have done?
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, a group of people were hunting squirrels on Howland Island, just west of Syracuse, when they were approached by a man claiming to be an undercover New York State environmental conservation officer. . The alleged ECO asked to see licenses and firearms and the group complied. The “undercover officer” took down the group’s information and confiscated a .22 rifle.
According to DEC reports, one of the hunters felt something wasn’t quite right and was able to capture a quick video of the “undercover agent.” Now what? The hunters do not have a rifle and have given up some personal information. You won’t believe what happens next.
Later that day, the “undercover officer” emailed the hunters to inform them that the rifle he seized was illegal. The hunters immediately contacted actual New York State DEC officials and provided them with the video they captured along with the email address used by the impostor.
Officers were able to accurately identify the 24-year-old subject as Zachary Harvey of Weedsport. Harvey was located and arrested and charged with two counts of criminal identity theft, two counts of grand theft and one count of criminal possession of stolen property. Harvey is currently in jail.
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NEVER try to stop a fugitive yourself. If you have information on the location of any of these fugitives, you can contact OSI 24/7 to report it. All hints and suggestions are treated as confidential information.
If an immediate response is necessary, such as if you see the wanted person at a location, call “911” and report it to the police.
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