MENDOTA, Calif. - Police have arrested a man who they say posed as a police officer and pulled over a 19-year-old woman in Mendota.
Larry Renaud was driving a black SUV with a red flashing light on Highway 180 near Mendota on March 23, 2017, Mendota Police said. Officers added that Renaud followed a car with a 19-year-old woman.
"She subsequently pulled over thinking it was a police officer attempting to stop her," said Mendota Police Chief Greg Andreotti.
The young woman stopped in the parking lot of Mendota Donut Shop. She grew suspicious of the fake cop who was wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans. She later told investigators she feared for her life and thought he was going to kidnap her.
"She became frightened," said Andreotti. "He was being aggressive and agitated. He wasn't able to produce any identification when she asked."
Police said Renaud let her go but later showed up on her doorstep to arrest her. Officers said he had handcuffs, and inside his SUV, police said he had a toy gun and flashlights.
"Eventually he left when he kept being pressured to show some identification and the family followed him out and were able to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle he was in," said Andreotti.
Police later arrested Renaud and said he refused to answer their questions including why he allegedly targeted the 19-year-old.
"He wanted the female and wanted to take the female, take her away from where she was, remove her from the house," Andreotti said.
People in Mendota were shocked. "That's crazy man. I don't know anyone who would do that," said one Mendota resident.
CBS47 Eyewitness News asked Andreotti if there could be more victims out there, and he replied, "There could be. We're hoping this broadcast will assist us in being able to get people to come forward."
Renaud is being held at Fresno County Jail on a felony charge of false imprisonment. His bail is set at $161,000.
Anyone with information on this case should call Mendota PD or Crimestoppers at 498-STOP.
If you're ever pulled over and not sure if the officer is legitimate, you can ask for identification. By law, the officer is required to have a solid red light on their vehicle. If you feel you're in danger, you can always call 9-1-1.