Police: Teens caught impersonating officers

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Gazette staff
March 25, 2015

JANESVILLE—Two 15-year-old Janesville boys were referred to juvenile authorities after a plan to impersonate police officers ended with them answering to real officers.

Janesville police were called Monday night to a report of a possible burglary in progress on the near west side, Lt. Terry Sheridan said. One of the teens had called in the report, saying a man was hiding in a closet of the house, he said.

When officers arrived, they found the teens chasing the man they had reported as the suspect down the street, Sheridan said. The teens wore tactical vests, one had a sheriff's deputy hat, they were talking on two-way radios, and they had a BB gun and pepper spray, Sheridan said.

“Basically, they were acting like they were police,” he said.

Officers sorted out the situation to discover the man was an ex-boyfriend of a woman the teens know, and the teens thought he shouldn't be in the house. The man said he had permission to be in the house, and he faced no charges.

While the man recognized the teens and didn't believe they were police officers, “he was still for some reason under the impression they were communicating with us via radio,” Sheridan said.

The two teens were referred to juvenile authorities on charges of disorderly conduct while armed and impersonating a officer, with one teen was referred on a charge of carrying a facsimile firearm and the other on a charge of underage possession of pepper spray.

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