Man arrested for posing as police officer

July 22, 2010 8:22:49 PM PDT
Police in Atascadero arrested a man Thursday who they say was posing as a police officer. Now they need the public's help to determine how many people he victimized.

"Frankly, we don't know if he's been involved with any sexual assaults or robberies here or in the san jose area where he lives. So that's why we want the media's help in getting this story out,"Atascadero police Sgt. Joe Allen said

San Jose resident Mark Ryan Polini was arrested Thursday morning and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail.

He faces several charges, including possession of a loaded firearm and impersonating a peace officer.

Authorities say a real patrol officer noticed an unmarked police car near a gas station Thursday morning. He found Polini in the car and after questioning him, discovered he was not with any police agency.

The vehicle had a dashboard camera, front and rear strobe light, a siren and a mobile data computer.

"The only difference between his car and our Crown Vic's are that we have a front bumper attachment to the car and tinted windows in the back, both of which his car didn't have. But other than that, the resemblance to a real undercover police car is pretty good," Allen said.

Polini was wearing a California Highway Patrol baseball cap.

When authorities searched the vehicle, they found handcuffs, a loaded pistol, multiple badges and several air soft pellet guns.

ABC7 went to Polini's home in San Jose. No one answered the door but a neighbor told us the home belongs to Polini's parents and that was where he also resided. The neighbor, who did not want to be identified because she knows the family well, said he worked in high tech and was in and out of jobs. She said he had bought the car a couple of months ago and was surprised at how much it looked like an undercover police car.


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