A New York man has pled guilty to impersonating a police officer and stealing a rifle from a group of squirrel hunters.

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According to a report by Steve Featherstone of NYup.com, 24-year-old Zackary Harvey pled guilty to two federal charges stemming from his September arrest, one for impersonating a police officer and one for stealing a rifle from a hunter. On September 9, Harvey ran into a group of squirrel hunters in the Howland Island Wildlife Management area.

Harvey, without showing any proof that he was actually a law enforcement officer, demanded to see the hunters' licenses. When the hunters asked for verification, Harvey showed them a picture of a badge on his phone and then took the hunters' semi-automatic .22 Savage rifle. two days later, he emailed the hunters claiming that the Department of Environmental Conservation was taking the rifle because it was semi-automatic and included a news article that falsely claimed that semi-automatic guns are banned. The rifle was not illegal in New York State.

Environmental Conservation Officers then arrested Harvey and recovered the stolen gun as well as a shotgun that was illegally possessed.

Certainly a creative way to commit a crime. But a little sloppy to follow up the theft by emailing the victim "take way ur 22 because it was a semi automatic." I don't know much about Environmental Conservation Officers, but I'm fairly confident they don't take guns away and then abbreviate the four letter word "your" with the two letter shorthand "ur."

Harvey now faces one to three years in prison and will be sentenced on April 13, 2023.

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