Fake cop who stole merchandise from multiple stores busted in Orange County, deputies say

William Ira Tillman III, 52, faces multiple charges

William Ira Tillman III was arrested on Saturday following a retail theft spree where he impersonated a law enforcement officer, according to a Polk County Sheriff's Office release. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A 52-year-old man was arrested in Orange County Saturday amid accusations he impersonated a law enforcement officer.

According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office, William Ira Tillman III displayed a police-style badge and took a $1,129 power inverter generator from a Lowe’s in Lake Wales and a $478 Samsung television from a Walmart in Winter Haven without paying. Both instances occurred in a span of two days in October 2021.

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Tillman told workers he was picking up the generator as a donation to the Sheriff’s Office, and the television for the “police department” with the paperwork in his vehicle, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

In November, Tillman entered a Walmart store in Haines City wearing a Walmart associate vest and stole merchandise valued at $591, then sold the merchandise in a pawn shop in Orlando, deputies said.

William Ira Tillman III, 52 (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Tilman told investigators that he owned the badge because he worked as a “repo-man” in the past. Deputies are still investigating what type of badge he was using during the thefts.

In addition to impersonating a law enforcement officer, Tillman faces charges two theft charges. He is also being held on warrants in Alachua and Seminole counties.


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Gui Leal started with ClickOrlando.com in January 2022.