Baton Rouge man under investigation for allegedly impersonating police officer
BATON ROUGE - Detectives from the Baton Rouge Police intelligence division have launched an investigation to determine how a man with a history of theft on his record managed to get a hold of a Baton Rouge Police uniform.
This week, law enforcement assisted the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office on a mental health call. That's when they discovered Frank Pansocana wearing a Class A Baton Rouge Police uniform.
"We know he has a history of theft," L'Jean McKneely with the Baton Rouge Police Department said.
Neighbors who witnessed the entire thing said Pansocana gave a shaky explanation as to how he got the uniform.
"What is this?" Sterling Robinson recalled asking Pansocana. "Where did you get that from? He didn't want to say. He said somebody gave it to me. Nobody gave it to him. He stole it."
Robinson said Pansocana was known around the neighborhood to steal from everyone. In fact, other neighbors said they could hardly keep things outside because it would turn up missing.
"He stole from me," Robinson said. "He stole from everybody here. Everybody in the neighborhood."
Baton Rouge Police said no uniforms have been reported missing recently. They confirmed the uniform that Pansocana was wearing was authentic and believe it is less than two years old. Police have strict protocols when officers retire that their uniforms must be turned in.
"Rare, very rare," McKneely said. "We've maybe had one or two other incidents or situations that I know someone may have had a uniform, but we knew they took that uniform. So, we were able to get to the bottom of it. We hope we can get to the bottom of this."
As detectives investigate, neighbors said Pansocana was proud to wear it.
"Walking around here like he couldn't be stopped or touched," Robinson said. "Like he was the man himself."
Baton Rouge Police said a language barrier is complicating the investigation. They will have to get translators before they can get Pansocana's statement. Pansocana will likely be charged with impersonating a police officer.
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