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SAN ANTONIO – A man accused of impersonating a San Antonio police officer to get inside a West Bexar County home and rob the homeowners is in custody.
Sheriff Javier Salazar said Salvatore Alfieri IV, 38, is facing a litany of charges stemming from Friday’s incident, including impersonating a public servant, burglary of a habitation with intent to commit felony, unlawful restraint, and interference of emergency request for assistance.
Alfieri is accused of telling the residents at a west Bexar County home that he was an SAPD officer and needed to perform a probation check inside the home.
”He claimed to be an officer that needed to do some sort of probation check and indicated he needed to do a search for contraband in the house,” Salazar said.
He was wearing a tactical vest and a mask over his face. He knew enough about a male resident of the house who wasn’t home at the time that the residents let him in.
Once inside the home, Alfieri — who was armed with a gun — took cellphones from a woman and a teenage boy. He then searched the residence and left with a large amount of cash and other items.
BCSO was able to identify him because Alfieri rented a Ford Escape from a car-sharing app that he drove to the home and returned right after the crime, Salazar said.
Deputies searched for him on Saturday but when Alfieri wasn’t located, BCSO decided to put his image and information on social media.
“The information that we were developing is that he was desperate for money and so the concern obviously that he was gonna do it again and maybe the next resident wouldn’t be so fortunate and that something bad would happen,” Salazar said.
Law enforcement agencies were alerted to his location Sunday morning.
“SAPD actually got the location before we did, they were able to perform a traffic stop on the rideshare that he had just gotten into,” Salazar said.
Salazar said Alfieri was in possession of some evidence and cash as well as marijuana and methamphetamines.
Salazar said he wasn’t sure how Alfieri targeted his victims and said because of the confidence he showed during the crime, there’s a possibility he’s committed similar crimes before.
According to a BCSO public information officer, Alfieri only had one prior run-in with the law which was a contempt of court warrant from New Mexico.
When asked by reporters how homeowners could avoid becoming a victim of a crime like this, Salazar said law enforcement officers typically wouldn’t be alone if they knock on your door. Plain-clothed officers usually bring a uniformed officer with them in a marked unit. The deputies or officers will be carrying ID and should have a search warrant.
“If you’ve ever got somebody that approaches in plain clothes that is trying to pass themselves off as a law enforcement officer, ask to see this. This is something that we will show you and it will help in identifying them for sure,” Salazar said. Adding, “If there’s a doubt, don’t let them in.”
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