Men Arrested for Allegedly Impersonating Law Enforcement to Rob Immigrants

Men Arrested for Allegedly Impersonating Law Enforcement to Rob Immigrants

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent in Hawthorne, Calif., in this file photo. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

City News Service
City News Service

6/24/2024

Updated: 6/24/2024

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ANAHEIM, Calif.—Two suspects have been arrested for impersonating law enforcement officials and robbing people, and Anaheim police June 24 urged other possible victims to contact authorities.
On Thursday, officers were notified that two robberies occurred at undisclosed locations between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. that day, according to Anaheim police Sgt. Jon McClintock.
“Upon officers’ arrival, they discovered the robberies were connected,” Mr. McClintock said. “During the robberies, the suspects approached the victims, identified themselves as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, demanded cash from the victims, and then fled in a blue SUV.”
A few hours later, investigators located the vehicle—a blue Audi Q7 SUV—in Fullerton and arrested two men, 19-year-old Laurentiu Baceanu and 19-year-old Vasile Alexandru, without incident, Mr. McClintock said.
Both suspects were booked into the Anaheim Police Department’s detention facility on suspicion of robbery and other offenses, and they remained in custody without bail, Mr. McClintock said.
“Anaheim police detectives believe Alexandru and Baceanu have committed similar robberies in Anaheim, Orange County and the Western United States,” Mr. McClintock said. “Detectives believe Alexandru and Baceanu targeted Hispanic victims, and additional victims may exist. Alexandru and Baceanu spoke Spanish during the robberies and presented a badge, falsely identifying themselves as law enforcement, before demanding the victims’ property.”
Detectives believe the men used different vehicles, including a silver or gray Volkswagen Atlas SUV and a blue Audi Q7 SUV, during the commission of the crimes, Mr. McClintock said.
Anyone with information about the case, or who may have been victimized in a similar way, was urged to contact Detective John Carey at 714-765-1973 or JCarey@anaheim.net. Tipsters may also call the Anaheim police Robbery-Major Assaults Detail at 714-765-1947 or contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS or www.occrimestoppers.org.
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