Robbers dressed as cops go on crime spree throughout San Diego
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - An investigation was underway Monday into a series of crimes in which at least two suspects wearing clothing with the word "police" on it struck in three locations around San Diego.
In the first case, a thief armed with a pistol and clad in security guard-style attire identified himself as a police officer while robbing another man in a Mission Valley parking lot, authorities reported.
The bandit, who appeared to be in his mid-30s to early 40s, stole the victim's wallet and other possessions before fleeing the area in an older-model four-door vehicle.
The robber was wearing a blue-gray uniform with a badge on the shirt, police said.
Just after noon, a thief shot an off-duty San Diego police officer during a holdup outside an Escondido credit union, leaving him hospitalized with a non-life-threatening graze wound to his head.
The 57-year-old lawman had just used an ATM at the financial-services office in the 1600 block of South Escondido Boulevard about 12:15 p.m. when the bandit confronted him and stole his wallet and cell phone, then opened fire on him from behind with a silver pistol, according to police.
Medics took the wounded officer, a 27-year veteran of the San Diego Police Department, to Palomar Medical Center, where he was admitted in stable condition. His name was not released.
The shooter fled the area to the south on foot, Lt. Craig Carter said. The bandit was described as a stocky, roughly 5-foot-7-inch Latino from 25 to 40 years old, wearing black clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, a jacket and a baseball cap with the word "police" on it in white letters, the lieutenant said.
In a third incident, a man and woman armed with a gun and wearing vests with the word "police" on them commandeered a man's vehicle at an Oak Park shopping center and used it to flee after torching the sedan they apparently had arrived in.
The thieves fled in the victim's black 2006 Suzuki Aerio hatchback after setting fire to a Ford Crown Victoria parked nearby. The bandits apparently had gone to the mall in the white sedan, SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said.
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