San Antonio, TX – An armed robbery suspect pretending to be a San Antonio police officer managed to get into a family’s home under false pretenses on May 21, according to investigators.
The incident occurred at a local residence on May 21, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) said in a press release the following day.
Investigators said the suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Salvatore Alfieri, showed up at the house carrying a gun and wearing a vest with the word “POLICE” across the front.
Alfieri told the homeowner he was a San Antonio police officer, then “demanded entry into the home under the ruse that he worked for ‘probation’ and needed to search the premise for ‘contraband.’”
Once the masked gunman got inside, he allegedly threatened the victims and ordered them to hand over their cell phones and a large amount of cash, KCDB reported.
Alfieri fled the scene in a Ford Escape, but not before security cameras captured footage of him and his vehicle, the BCSO said.
Investigators were able to identify him using the video.
“The information that we were developing is that he was desperate for money, and so the concern obviously was that he was gonna do it again,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told KCBD. “And maybe the next resident wouldn’t be so fortunate and something bad would happen.”
The BCSO said investigators soon received a tip that the suspect was waiting for a ride from a Lyft driver and they used that information to stop the vehicle shortly thereafter.
Alfieri was arrested on two counts of unlawful restraint, two counts of interference of emergency request for assistance, impersonating a public servant, and burglary of habitation with intent to commit a felony, according to the BCSO.
The BCSO said they believe the suspect has committed similar crimes in the past.
“We were fortunate that this suspect did not hurt anyone in this case. However, the calm way he went about it seems like this is neither his first nor his last attempt,” Sheriff Salazar said in the press release. “We felt it necessary to warn the public to be on the lookout.”