by Vickie Vértiz
A man suspected of impersonating Anaheim police has authorities looking for him.
The Orange County Register reported that two of his victims were women who were approached on October 26 at around ten in the morning. Two women were pulled over near the intersection of La Palma Avenue and Anaheim Boulevard by a man, said the paper. The man claimed to be a police officer, said police Lieutenant Bob Dunn to the paper.
The victims reported they were they were passed by a dark-colored Cadillac while driving south on Anaheim Boulevard from La Palma Avenue. The car slowed down, said the women, and they said it deliberately blocked their path. A male suspect exited the vehicle, said Dunn.
The man walked up to the victims and told them he was a police officer who intended to arrest them, added Dunn. The victims suspected he was not telling the truth and told him they were going to call the police to verify his status. Dunn added that at that point, the suspect ran back to his vehicle and fled the scene at a high speed.
Luckily, the victims read the license plate of the vehicle belonging to the man as he sped off. They quickly reported the incident to the police department.
The victims helped identify the driver of the Cadillac as Gabriel Magna Lopez, who is 42, and is considered a local transient, added officer Dunn. Investigators confirmed that Lopez was the driver of the black, 1999 Cadillac four-door assigned to the plates the women identified, Dunn said. The mug shot was located to show the public his likeness to identify other possible victims who also encountered him, but have not yet come forward. It is unclear how Lopez can be considered a transient as no further details about his background were released. No information about his mental health was provided in police statements, nor did they identify a motive. One can only think the worst about what he could have done to the two women he stopped if he had succeeded in “arresting” them. Other people may have had more reason to fear his alleged authority.
Lopez was found in his auto and was arrested without resistance on December fourth. He was taken in on “suspicion of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor impersonating a police officer,” said the paper. Lopez is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $25,000 bail.
Articles like this one will help identify other possible victims of Lopez. Police believe that he may have impersonated police officers on other occasions and that additional victims may still be out there, Dunn said.
If you or anyone you know have information about additional incidents or about Lopez is asked to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS, or text OCCS and your tip to CRIMES (274637). People may also visit www.occrimestoppers.org