Impersonating an officer isn’t something you want to be charged for and threatening someone with a gun is an even bigger problem. A man was arrested for doing that in broad daylight and in a busy parking lot. However, the real police can’t get him to explain himself.
The victim, visiting from out of town, tells Channel 6 News he didn’t know what to do in the Home Depot parking lot near North 72nd Street and Ames Avenue in Omaha. At first, he saw red and blue flashing lights, then a man claiming to be a cop banged on his window.
"It's disturbing,” says Sgt. Joseph Wherry. “It's very disturbing. The victim did what any victim should do, he yelled for someone to call police."
Police say the alleged impersonator, Jim Gilot, even looked the part and had phony police badges. Police don’t know why he did it, but Gilot was still holding the victim at gunpoint as they arrived. “We’re not exactly sure. We don’t have a real motive, a clear motive on what happened,” says Sgt. Wherry.
The thing about impersonating an officer is it’s not hard to do. It’s legal for anyone to buy the badges or even an emergency light. "Anybody can buy them," says Kevin Hergott of Fire Guard in Omaha. "The only thing that's in the law is that you cannot be using them unless you have a permit."
Fire Guard is a business that sells used emergency lights. Hergott says he has a moral obligation to not sell them to just anyone. "If we don't know you, we start asking some questions about who you're affiliated with and so forth. Do you have a permit and things like that."
The victim of the crime asked to remain anonymous. Police say if you ever have suspicions that someone is impersonating an officer, call police to verify the identity.