RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIFORNIA – A man was arrested by deputies on Friday after they said a man was using a security vehicle to pull over another driver in Rancho Cucamonga. Authorities seized guns, a bulletproof vest, a taser, batons, and other items.
35-year-old Rancho Cucamonga man Avelardo Estavillo was booked into jail on charges of impersonating a police officer and false imprisonment that is connected to the incident. The incident occurred just before 1 a.m. at Morning Breeze Drive and Golden Oak Road, according to a statement released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Mr. Estavillo pulled up behind the victim in a Ford Crown Victoria that had security markings on the vehicle, while the victim was driving, officials say.
“Estavillo activated his overhead light bar and conducted a traffic stop on the victim,” the statement reads.
The victim’s driver’s license was written down by the suspect who told the victim to remain in his car. Mr. Estavillo then made a call to the sheriff’s dispatch and told them he pulled over a “suspicious subject.” The suspect turned the light bar on top of his vehicle off before officers arrived on the scene.
“Deputies contacted the victim, who stated he believed the person who stopped him was a police officer because the security vehicle had red and blue lights when he was stopped,” the statement reads. The car also had a siren equipped to it.
Mr. Estavillo did have a security guard card, however, officials later determined it had been suspended by the state, according to officials.
“Deputies searched the vehicle and recovered two firearms, one collapsible baton, one wood baton, an electronic taser, bulletproof/tactical vest, security polo shirt, two duty belts and numerous rounds of ammunition,” the statement continued.
There was a dog in the back of the vehicle, and animal control officials took custody of the animal.
There wasn’t a clear motive for the suspect’s actions.
Avelardo Estavillo was released from police custody and legal proceedings are pending after the suspect posted a $50,000 bail amount, San Bernardino County booking records show.
The incident is not the first time something like this has happened in this area.
Investigators are asking that anyone who believes they had a suspicious encounter with Mr. Estavillo to call the Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff’s Station at 909-477-2800. There is also the anonymous tip line WeTip at 800-782-7463.