Cops and Robbers – How a Convicted Felon Became a Policeman

Convicted FelonCarl Freer made donations to the SGVTA (San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority) under its non-profit corporate status. This was not a matter of civic duty or even altruism –  he needed to impress and gain respectability.  Eventually he purchased it, and it then issued him with a Police Badge.

Carl Freer allegedly presented his SGVTA Police Badge to identify himself as a civilian member of the SGVTA’s police department.  (Remember, this man already had a criminal record).

As a result of the negative publicity around Carl Freer and others, SGVTA’s services to the impoverished and disabled members of the San Gabriel Valley Community were discontinued.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ferrari27apr27,0,7918364.story?coll=la-home-headlines

From the Los Angeles Times

‘Impersonating an Officer’ Charge Added to Bizarre Ferrari Case

By Richard Winton and David Pierson

Times Staff Writer

4:35 PM PDT, April 26, 2006

The Rare Ferrari Enzo

A business associate of the man accused of crashing his rare Ferrari in Malibu this year was arrested today for allegedly posing as a police officer to buy guns.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies said that Carl Freer flashed a badge from an obscure San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority and claimed he was a sworn police officer so that he could purchase guns from a dealer without the required background checks. Authorities said he also signed documents swearing he was a sworn officer.

One needs a boat to do law enforcement at sea

The detectives said they found 12 rifles and four handguns during searches of Freer’s Bel-Air estate and on his 100-foot yacht Brigatta, docked at Marina del Rey. They say at least one gun, a .44 magnum, was obtained illegally and are checking on the others.

Freer, 35, was a top executive at a failed European videogame company Gizmondo along with Stefan Eriksson, who drove the Ferrari. Eriksson has been charged with grand theft, embezzlement and DUI charges in connection with the accident.

Both men were also members of the “anti-terrorism police commission” of the San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority, a small private company that provides rides to disabled people and the elderly in Monrovia and Sierra Madre. Both men were issued badges by the authority.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said that neither Freer nor Eriksson would have been allowed to purchase guns in the United States because they are foreign nationals.

“We have a wider investigation into who was given police identification by this supposed police agency,” Whitmore said.

Meanwhile, detectives are continuing to explore why a handgun belonging to a reserve deputy for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was found at the Bel-Air mansion.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies confiscated the gun during a raid at Eriksson’s home. Whitmore confirmed Wednesday that the .357 magnum Smith & Wesson was registered to Roger A. Davis, a Newport Beach businessman and deputy with the Orange County sheriff’s professional services division. Davis also serves on Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona’s Advisory Committee.

Davis was issued a permit to carry a concealed weapon by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in August 2002 for self-protection, according to public records.

The disclosure comes as Carona has come under criticism for his large expansion of the reserve deputy program, in which he has given badges — and in some cases concealed-weapon permits — to volunteers with no police training.

Staff writer Christine Hanley contributed to this story.