MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man was arrested after he impersonated a Mesa police officer while performing a traffic stop on the U.S. 60 last week, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

DPS said Sgt. Brandon Powell noticed an SUV initiating a traffic stop on a car while traveling westbound on U.S. 60 near Lindsay Road on Thursday, May 9.

[VIDEO: Man arrested impersonating Mesa officer on U.S. 60]

The SUV had red and blue strobe lights and Powell believed the SUV was an unmarked law enforcement vehicle.

Powell stopped to assist and approached the SUV driver who was out of his vehicle and speaking with the female driver in the car.

According to the news release, the driver "did not have a firearm on his waist and was wearing a shirt embroidered with the letters, 'MESA POLICE' on a gold badge."

[WATCH: Neighbors react to man who police said impersonated a Mesa police officer]

Powell called Mesa Police to verify the driver's status with the agency.  It wasn’t long before driver’s story fell apart.

“It was funny because the Mesa Sgt. Was like, 'Man, I recognize this guy from somewhere.  Let me go run him through our system,'” said Powell. "He comes back a couple minutes later and said, 'We arrested him ten years ago for impersonating an officer and I was the sergeant on that call.”

Powell determined the driver, identified as 28-year-old Joshua Hillman, was not a law enforcement officer, nor was he affiliated with the Mesa Police Department, after he began questioning him.

Court records show, in 2009, a convenience store clerk reported Hillman came in wearing a badge around his neck and said he was looking for a woman with a pink bag.

Mesa Police arrested him down the street, according to documents, and officers found Hillman carrying a revolver, two pocket knives, and handcuffs.

Hillman was later convicted of impersonating a peace officer.

DPS said Hillman admitted he utilized red and blue lights in the past when contacting stranded motorists.

Hillman was arrested and booked into jail for impersonating a police officer and three counts of kidnapping.

DPS is asking anyone who may have been contacted by Hillman while he impersonated a police officer to come forward by contacting 877-272-8329 or click here.

 


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