Man accused of using fake police badge to fool victim into giving up pickup

A man who is believed to have used a fake police badge to dupe a homeowner into surrendering his pickup as stolen property has been arrested in Caldwell County, according to the Observer’s news partner WBTV.

Deputies said Harry “Jason” Gardner was wearing a “police style badge” around his neck when he was arrested Monday at his home, WBTV reported. Also found at the home: A Dodge Dakota truck stolen in November.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office told WBTV it received a report on Dec. 2 of a man, believed to be Gardner, going to someone’s house claiming to be a detective, WBTV reports. The victim told authorities the suspect showed up around 6 a.m. and said the victim's vehicle was stolen property and that he would return later to pick it up.

The man, who the victim said was wearing a badge around his neck, was also driving a “fairly new” red Dodge Dakota.

Investigators said evidence led them to Gardner's home, WBTV reports. Details were not released on the charges.