OCALA, Florida — A dopey 18-year-old Florida man is charged with dressing up in his uncle’s police uniform and stealing his patrol car to pull over unsuspecting motorists in an bid to impress his girlfriend, police said.
Isael Ibrain Lima waited until his uncle, Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Yoandy Miranda went out of town last weekend, and then allegedly broke into his locked room and stole a uniform from his closet, the sheriff’s office said.
On Saturday night, officers with the Belleview police department encountered Lima at a convenience store, breaking up a fight between two men. Lima identified himself as Deputy Miranda to another Marion County Sheriff’s deputy named Bobby Levay, who had never met Miranda before.
The following day, the real Deputy Miranda returned home and discovered someone had broken into his room and had moved his car and called police. When Deputy Levay arrived at the home, he realized that the man he had spoken to the night before was an imposter.
It then became clear that Levay had, in fact, encountered Lima, who lives with his uncle. When detectives confronted Lima, he admitted he had stolen his uncle’s uniform “and drove to his girlfriend’s home because he wanted to ‘impress’ her,” police said.
He also admitted that he had conducted a traffic stop using his uncle’s car, which a friend videotaped as a joke.
“I don’t think this man realized the danger he put himself in by trying to impersonate a deputy sheriff. Our deputies undergo extensive, ongoing training to be able to do their job safely,” said Chief Deputy Robert Douglas.
Lima was charged with grand theft auto, theft of a firearm, burglary, and impersonating a police officer among other charges, and was held on $33,000 bond.