The arrest made by Los Angeles County Sheriffs of a man who quickly flashed a badge and ID in an attempt to enter into the Inmate Reception Center of the L.A. County Jail is a reminder that fake law enforcement badges and identification cards are too easily obtained online.
In the most recent case, deputies tried to check Greg Baghoomian's credentials, but he fled on foot towards the L.A. County Men's Central Jail facility across the street. The quick thinking deputies notified their partners at Men's Central Jail, who detained Mr. Baghoomian in the lobby of the jail. Mr. Baghoomian was found in possession of a large fixed blade knife, two Taser devices, handcuffs, gloves and false FBI credentials.
As the website The Counterfeit Report pointed out in a January press release, fake law enforcement badges and identification cards are all too easy to find on the internet. The Counterfeit Report found over 2,700 fake law enforcement items and sent hundreds of email reports, press releases and warnings to companies selling the fake items online.
A quick review by ALADS today shows that counterfeit Sheriff's items are still on sale on eBay. Other law enforcement agencies badges are also being sold online. ALADS urges eBay and other sellers of fake law enforcement badges and identification to immediately remove these items from their website.
The arrest in Victorville of an armed 14-year-old boy accused of posing as a sheriff's deputy demonstrates the need to make it harder for criminals to buy fake law enforcement badges and IDs online.
Impersonating a police officer or other law enforcement officer is a misdemeanor under California Penal Code 538d PC. In California, a person can be charged with a crime impersonating a police officer even if no one was harmed by their actions and and the impersonator derived no benefit from them.