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Mass. man accused of impersonating officer

SALEM - A Massachusetts man is under arrest after police say he was found in possession of police equipment, including pieces of a uniform, a badge and a large blue strobe light.

Richard Ramon Tirado, 23, of Lawrence, Mass., is charged with a felony of false personation and an additional charge of using blue lights restricted to law enforcement.

Salem police officers were called to the parking lot in Walmart at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday for reports of a car flashing police-style blue lights, Deputy Police Chief Shawn Patten said on Monday.

A witness told officers that a Chrysler 300 had turned on the blue strobe lights behind him in the lot, which he at first thought belonged to a police cruiser, said Patten. The car passed him and the witness told police he became suspicious and alerted authorities.

On the scene, officers found Tirado with his vehicle, which allegedly had blue strobe lights on the passenger side floor, said Patten.

Also inside the car was a ballistic vest, a duty belt, a reflective traffic vest and a Billerica, Mass., police hat, Patten said.

Tirado told officers he was a former auxiliary police officer in Lawrence, Mass., and currently a reserve officer in Billerica, Mass., Patten said. He then showed officers a 'security enforcement officer' badge in his wallet, but no other police identification, he said.

Officers called police in Billerica, Mass., to verify Tirado's story and were allegedly told Tirado was not on their auxiliary roster, said Patten.

He was arrested and released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail.


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