Detectives looking for man impersonating an officer and robbing Lake Worth residents

Residents warned

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - Three times within the past month a man has been impersonating a police officer and committing robberies in a predominantly Hispanic community in Lake Worth.

Sebastian, who does not speak English, said that he stays inside at night to avoid becoming a victim of any crime.  

Jorge Gomez, with the Farmworker Coordinating Council, works with 250 Hispanic families.

He says many times residents will not come forward to report a crime, many are afraid they will be arrested due to their status in the country.

"We see a lot of those crimes, they are the types of clients we serve (who) are afraid to come forward, afraid to report crimes to the police, this is common in the area, " said Gomez.

The residents who have come forward say a tall Hispanic man wearing civilian clothes and a green hat approached them, saying he was in law enforcement. He would then ask for their wallets. One of the times he showed a gun, taking off with hundreds of dollars in cash. 

Teri Barbera, with The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office,  wants the man off the streets. "If an individual approaches you and says he is a law enforcement officer and has a badge. If you are not comfortable call our non emergency number at 688-3400 let us know there is an individual possibly meeting the description, that is coming up requesting information," said Teri.

Gomez said, "Hopefully they will be able to catch them and we will definitely be talking to our clients here make sure they are aware of the situation."
To report a tip call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.


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