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Law Enforcement Officer Impersonator Arrested in Vista

Vista CA— Earlier this week, a concerned citizen contacted the Sheriff’s Department after a contact with a subject claiming to be an undercover deputy sheriff. Sheriff deputies from the Vista Community Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) Unit took the case and began an investigation.

During interviews with several employees from businesses in the Main Street area of Vista, investigators learned the suspect had passed out other fake business cards and was interacting with juveniles in the area. During one reported incident, investigators learned two juveniles were detained by the subject and had their skateboards taken. Through their investigation, COPPS deputies quickly identified 24-year-old Vista resident, Abraham Joseph Nava, as a potential suspect. Investigators developed probable cause to arrest Nava and obtained a search warrant for his residence.

Late this afternoon, June 14, 2018, Nava was arrested in the 100 block of Wave Drive in the city of Vista. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of one of the fake Sheriff’s Department business cards. In the subsequent search of Nava’s residence were several pieces of San Diego County Sheriff’s Department specific uniform items, as well as badges and uniform belt items. Also recovered was a box of fraudulent Sheriff’s Department business cards from his residence.

Nava admitted to investigators he falsely represented himself as a deputy sheriff on several occasions. This evening, we booked Nava into the Vista Detention Facility for two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of false impersonation of a peace officer. He is in custody in lieu of $110,000 bail.

The investigation is still on-going, and anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at (760) 940-4551 or you may call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 with information and you will remain anonymous.

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