BRANDON, Fla. (FOX 13) - Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a man accused of impersonating a police officer, conducting fake traffic stops and robbing drivers. His alleged accomplice is already in custody.
Deputies arrested 38-year-old Jesus Ledesma at his home in Polk County early Friday morning. Investigators say Ledesma used the victims' stolen credit cards multiple times. In his possession, found an actual police light bar. Deputies believe the light bar recovered was the same one stolen off a cruiser awaiting maintenance at a Chrysler dealership.
"Luckily, in neither case, the victims were not injured," Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Cristal Nunez said. "But very scary because any person seeing someone behind them with flashing red and blue lights naturally would stop."
Detectives could be seen executing a search warrant at Ledesma's home late Friday afternoon. Neighbors didn't want to go on camera but did say there's heavy traffic in and out of the home at all hours of the day.
The car used in both incidents was identified as a silver SUV, which deputies say was used Thursday night along with the stolen police light bar to pull over a driver.
"The victim complied in this case," Nunez said. "He gave him the wallet. He stole 5-hundred bucks in cash. Gave him the wallet back. Told him to stop speeding and he fled."
Last Saturday, a similar incident happened in Brandon, but this time both men approached the car and one identified himself as a detective. When the driver asked for more identification, the suspect became agitated, pointed a silver revolver at the victim and demanded his wallet.
If you're suspicious during a traffic stop, deputies say don't hesitate to call 911.
"Sometimes people just feel foolish and that's reason enough not to come forward to law enforcement, but we absolutely think that there may be more victims," Nunez said. "We would like for them to come forward and give us more information."
Ledesma is currently facing multiple charges, including false impersonation, felony possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.
Deputies said they are searching for an additional suspect described as a Hispanic male with a beard. The suspect may be 5 feet 10 inches tall.
Detectives are asking for any additional victims to contact the agency at 813-247-8200.