BALTIMORE - With armed robbers posing as police officers in recent months throughout the city, a cop took notice when he spotted a teen with a police radio.
Later, Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the suspect, 18-year old Walter Oliver, took his charade even further, assuming the identity of a police cadet as he took a job with a local security company.
"He was seen on video wearing not only a Baltimore City Police badge, but in possession of a handgun... what we believe was a handgun."
A SWAT team raided Oliver’s home on Halstead Road in Parkville and turned up a virtual locker room full of stolen items.
"Strobe lights, police badges, patches, uniforms---all very concerning that an individual would have this kind of equipment in his home,” said Guglielmi, “He was immediately arrested and charged with impersonation of a police officer, charged with handgun violations."
Handcuffs, uniforms and even a pair of bulletproof and armored vests---police in both Baltimore City and County learned Oliver had used his position as an Explorer, a youth understudy, to allegedly steal from police lockers under their very noses.
"This is certainly an anomaly with this program and we certainly wouldn't want this particular incident to cast any kind of negative influence on the program itself because this is an excellent group of children," said Balitmore County Police Detective Cathy Batton.
The model student once entrusted to see the inner workings of police departments now finds himself on the other side of the law.
"The suspect was 19... 20 years old (and) could have had a great career as a police officer. I think he made some very poor decisions that now, unfortunately, he'll never be able to be a police officer, federal law enforcement, state or local, anywhere in the country," said Guglielmi.
In one instance, it’s alleged Oliver watched a pregnant officer put her badge in her purse before stealing it as she went to the restroom.
He later led investigators to that same badge where he’d tossed it in a storm drain in front of his home.
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