Police search for man who impersonated an officer
Police are searching for a man who recently entered at least two Clyde businesses posing as a sheriff's deputy.
The man targeted the Single Stop first on Aug. 20, aggressively demanding the cashier to turn over any smoking pipes sold in the store as part of evidence in what he claimed was an ongoing investigation, said Clyde Police Chief Gerard Ball. However, he left abruptly while the cashier was helping other customers.
Later that night, a man matching the same description approached the door of the Tobacco Barn as an employee was closing for the evening.
The woman allowed him in the store after he identified himself as a deputy. Once again, the man said he needed to seize all pipes and anything that could be associated with drug paraphernalia in the store.
He told the employee that he had a badge and in video surveillance appears to have been carrying a gun on his side, although he never revealed either. The man purchased a pipe and then left the store, at which time the employee locked herself in a closet and called 9-1-1.
The suspect is described as a white male in his late twenties to mid-thirties with a thin mustache, dark buzz cut hair and a pale complexion.
"It sounds like he's a drug user and he's trying to get his hands on some pipes," Ball said. "My concern is that if he goes into a store intoxicated or high on a substance with a weapon, he could become violent. We need to get this man off the streets."
Ball retrieved a picture of the suspect from video surveillance at the Tobacco Barn. Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call Canton Police dispatch at 828-648-2376.