Officials Seek Other Victims Scammed by Alleged Law Enforcement Impersonator

Officials Seek Other Victims Scammed by Alleged Law Enforcement Impersonator
Then Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at a press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 2, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
City News Service

LAKEWOOD, Calif.—Authorities Nov. 1 urged people to contact them if they were victimized by a man who impersonated a law enforcement officer while targeting primarily Spanish-speaking victims and swindling them.

Martin Alejandro, 56, was arrested Oct. 27 by personnel from the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

He is accused of scamming at least eight victims out of $100,000, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a Tuesday morning news conference at the Lakewood Station, as reported by local news outlet Press-Telegram.

According to the sheriff’s department, Alejandro would target people—often handymen or construction workers—who placed ads in “El Clasificado,” an online and in-print classified marketplace company.

“The suspect would use these advertisements to initiate contact with the victims,” Villanueva said.

“El Clasificado is the largest Spanish-language classified marketplace in the United States,” Villanueva said. “Oftentimes, Spanish speakers are victims of crime and theft and they do not report incidents.

“We’re here to remind everyone that the mission of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is to protect all county residents, regardless of immigration status,” Villanueva said. “Many members of the community may not be in the country legally, but they still have rights.”

According to detectives, the suspect would meet with victims and sometimes show them a badge. Authorities said Alejandro victimized at least eight people since June of this year, with some of the crimes involving the sale of vehicles.

Alejandro was arrested for similar crimes in 2014 and 2019, officials said. Villanueva urged people to come forward if they were victimized by Alejandro and call detectives at 562-925-0124.

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