Police impersonator arrested during traffic stop
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A man posing as a police officer was arrested after he was spotted by a real law enforcer in the middle of a traffic stop the impostor was making on three initially unsuspecting victims, officials said.
Miami Police spokesperson Kenia Reyes said the officer apprehended and handcuffed 31-year-old Ruben Yepes-Quiroz around 3 a.m. Saturday on Southwest 60th Avenue and Eighth Street.
Rodrigo Pardo, the young driver who was pulled over by the alleged impostor, said he thought at first that a real undercover officer had gestured him to stop his burgundy Pontiac as he was driving home with two friends. "All of a sudden we see this sports car and then we see the lights, the police lights," he said. "We thought it was an undercover [officer] who had stopped us."
"You never know," said Neuen Montoya, one of Pardo's friends who was present at the time of the traffic stop. "We thought it was an undercover, because he had all the lights, everything."
"What we don't know, indeed, was what his intentions were," said Kenia Reyes.
Montoya said Yepes-Quiroz' motive was simple. "I think he wanted money."
Pardo agreed with his friend's assessment. 'I think he wanted money, maybe hit us, kill us, I don't know," he said.
It was at that moment that a Miami Police cruiser arrived at the scene. "As soon as he gets out [of his car], the real police come," Pardo said.
"His immediate attention was to back up that car thinking it was a police officer," said Reyes of the arresting officer. "When he grows closer and walks up to him, much to his surprise, it wasn't a police officer. It was an impersonator."
Inside Yepes-Quiroz' vehicle, authorities found five cell-phones, two iPods, two cameras and one iPad. Police also confiscated fake badges from the suspect.
Officials said that with all the electronics police found inside Yepes-Quiroz' vehicle, he may have targeted more victims. Reyes advised drivers to call authorities if they believe they have been by an impersonator. ""If you feel you're being stopped by a plainclothes officer and you don't think he is a credible officer, what you need to do is call 911 or just drive to a well-lit populated area."
Yepes-Quiroz remained at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade on $6,000 bond on Saturday. He bonded out the next day.
"There's people like that doing this, like, anyone can stop me and kill me," said Pardo.
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