Police: Fake cop targeted Hispanic men in north Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- A man who police say dressed up like a cop and went around specifically targeting and robbing Spanish-speaking Hispanic men in north Austin is now in custody. According to an arrest affidavit, authorities were able to connect 35-year-old Harold McClain to three robberies, that all occurred at the end of May, through fingerprints he left on a gift card he was trying to steal.

The first robbery happened on May 23 in the 10000 block of North Lamar Boulevard. The victim told police he was sitting in his car in the parking lot, when a man holding a flashlight and wearing a "dark blue security uniform" approached him. The victim, who didn't speak English, said the suspect also had a metal badge but he couldn't tell what was on it. Believing the suspect was an officer the victim handed over his Mexican ID but the suspect wanted his whole wallet. The suspect pointed a gun at the victim and took off with his wallet, continued in the affidavit.

Four days later, another robbery involving a similar suspect description was reported in the 1300 block of McKie Drive. The victim in the second case said the suspect's uniform had "police' emblazoned on left chest and patches on both shoulders. The victim said the suspect pointed a gun at his head and was able to get away with the money in his wallet.

On May 30, a man called 911 stating a man fired a shot at him during a robbery in the 1900 block of East Anderson Lane. The victim tried to stop the robber and during the struggle, a gift card fell out of the victim's wallet. A latent print on the card ended up linking police back to McClain.

Detectives were able to determine McClain's last known address was on the 8500 block of Cameron Road, which is within close proximity to all three robberies. The affidavit indicates McClain appeared to target the specific victims under the belief that they were more likely to carry cash and less likely to call police.


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