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Bad Lieutenant? Man With Badge Shakes Down Victims

Talk about your cops and robbers. Police say a man with a badge and wearing "plain clothes" has been approaching victims cop-like and shaking them down for cash. They say the man is not a real cop, but rather an impersonator.

A scary one at that. He's walked up to victims in the late morning and early afternoon and, real officer-like, revealed a badge clipped to a gun belt, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He patted them down under the guise of a "pedestrian stop" investigation only to pocket valuables including cash and entire wallets.

We'd love to see the "what just happened" look on the victims' faces, but the fact is this guy needs to get got, and with the department's robbery detectives on the case, he probably will go down. (For a little primer on what happens when the LAPD focuses its resources on robbers at large, read this). The suspect is described as a 35- to 45-year-old Latino, 6 feet tall, weighing 230 pounds, and often wearing a dark, polo-style shirt and blue jeans.

From September through late October he's hit victims in the department's Rampart Division area near downtown, in Koreatown and in its Pacific Division area, which includes Venice, Westchester and Palms.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous, so it's probably not wise to ask for his badge number or threaten to speak to his supervisor. Rather, anyone who has had a run in with the suspect or who might know his whereabouts was asked to call Los Angeles police at 213-485-2511 or 1-877-527-3247.