- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2002

Prince George's County [Md.] police have taken a Camp Springs man into custody on charges of impersonating a police officer in a series of robberies in which motorists were ordered out of their vehicles.

Antonio Harley, 22, was arrested about 10 p.m. Thursday at his home in the 6700 block of Allentown Road and charged with impersonating a police officer, robbery, theft, second-degree assault and false imprisonment, a Prince George's County police spokeswoman said.

Police arrested Mr. Harley after a series of tips were received by the county's Crime Solver's bureau, Cpl. Diane Richardson said.

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"A number of people called and said we should look at the possibility that Antonio Harley was involved."

She added that police have received several calls from persons who said they think the same man may have robbed them, too.

Cpl. Richardson said the first in the series of robberies occurred Jan. 4 in Lanham. In that case, the suspect drove toward a car parked near Martin Luther King Highway and 92nd Avenue, where at least two persons were reading a map. The man approached the car, identified himself as a police officer, ordered them out of the car, then demanded their wallets. After the victims complied, the man fled.

Four other robberies in the county occurred in the Lanham area Jan. 28, Feb. 17, Feb. 21 and Feb. 24, Cpl. Richardson said.

Montgomery County police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said detectives are trying to determine whether the same man is responsible for a similar case Thursday in Potomac in which a 48-year-old man was pulled over and robbed after he stopped at an automated teller machine.

"He could be the same person, or he could be a copycat," she said. "There are parts of the [modus operandi] that are similar, but detectives haven't determined if there is a direct match."

Montgomery County police said that in the Potomac case the thief was driving a black four-door BMW. The car used in one Prince George's County incident, a dark-green Mazda Millenia, later was traced as stolen from Anne Arundel County.

Prince George's County school officials said yesterday that Mr. Harley was recently hired as a security guard at Parkdale High School in Riverdale pending the results of a standard criminal background check. When the check revealed "discrepancies," Mr. Harley was let go after two weeks.

U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Scott Fear said Mr. Harley had been a volunteer assisting the Park Police Explorer program that trains youths who are seriously interested in law enforcement, in police methods.

Sgt. Fear said Mr. Harley served for about a year, mostly accompanying Explorer groups to events, and had been suspended once in August.

He was let go about three weeks ago, Sgt. Fear said.

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