Florida man steals iPhone, pretends to be a federal marshal, police say

- A Florida man was spotted stealing a cell phone from a Best Buy, and returned to the store days later claiming to be a U.S. Marshal, police say.

Boynton Beach police arrested 61-year-old John O’Grady on Wednesday afternoon, after responding to the Best Buy location at 550 North Congress Avenue. A store employee told police O’Grady was seen shoplifting several days prior, and took an iPhone 10, and wanted to issue him a trespass warning, according to an arrest affidavit.

When police approached O’Grady, they noticed a U.S. Marshals pin attached to his gray business suit. In body camera video, officers are heard asking him if he was armed and if he was a U.S. Marshal. O’Grady could be heard responding, “yes,” to the questions.

However, police also asked him if he had his federal marshal identification or a phone number to contact his supervisor, and he said “no.” He soon admitted he was carrying a fake weapon and that he was not a U.S. Marshal.

One officer said, “Congratulations, you just impersonated a police officer. That’s a federal offense.”

The weapon turned out to be a black BB gun. After searching his vehicle, they found an iPhone that matched the serial number to the one stolen from Best Buy, police said.

O’Grady was arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer and grand theft.

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