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Monday August 31st, 2015 9:21AM

Man held for impersonating officer and burglary

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - The Hall County Sheriff's Office Monday afternoon released details of an arrest that involved a man allegedly impersonating an officer during a cab ride.

According to the sheriff's office, the man, Carlos Ildefonso Lopez, 21, of Gainesville was picked up by a cab late last Thursday afternoon in Willow Ridge subdivision.

Lopez had a badge and allegedly claimed to be an officer.

"He then got into the cab with several items, including a handgun and ammunition as well as a laptop computer. He instructed the cab driver to take him wherever he (cab driver) was told and not to ask any questions," Wilbanks said.

The quick-thinking cab driver made up a story about having to return to the taxi office, where he dialed 911. Lopez took off at that point, leaving the items in the car, according to authorities.

The cabbie followed Lopez until deputies arrived and made the arrest. Wilbanks said investigators are glad it all ended safely.

"He (cabbie) knew that he was not in any immediate danger in following him (Lopez), of course because the suspect had left the firearm and other possessions inside the cab," Wilbanks said.

It turns out Gainesville Police were investigating a burglary near where Lopez was picked up in Willow Ridge.

Lopez is being held without bond in the Hall County Jail on charges of impersonating an officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and first degree burglary.

Sheriff's investigators said the badge Lopez used was for a security officer.

A committal hearing for Lopez is scheduled September, 20.
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