TRENTON - A man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while posing as a police officer was arrested less than 24 hours after the crime was reported.
Police say Gustavo Garcia, 54, was wearing a badge around his neck and carrying a gun and radio when he walked into a Comfort Mattress on South Broad Street on Saturday.
Investigators believe the suspect presented himself as an officer and asked for a drink of water. They say he then forced a female employee into a bathroom, tied her up and assaulted her.
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As the suspect was leaving the store, the owner's son happened to be walking in. He took video of the suspect, and police were able to release a photo.
Garcia was captured just before 1 p.m. Sunday. Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. says tips from the community led them to the arrest. "The community was an outstanding asset to this investigation and we can't thank them enough," he says.
The suspect is charged with kidnapping and aggravated assault. Garcia has previously served time in prison for burglary and theft. Trenton police are looking into whether he may be linked to any other open cases involving sex assault or people impersonating a policeman.
Authorities reiterate that anyone with concerns about someone who may not be a real police officer should always check that person's ID.