RACINE, Wis. - A 39-year-old Racine man has been charged with allegedly impersonating an undercover police officer.
Prosecutors say Charles Kirkpatrick was in possession of a former officer's police ID and used it to present himself as an undercover cop to multiple people on June 2.
Racine police were dispatched to a high school near Spring and Luedtke for a reported stolen vehicle. When they arrived, officers spoke with a retired Racine officer who reported his car – containing his keys and wallet – was taken by an unknown man.
The former officer said he'd left his vehicle within eyesight after parking it to coach track at the high school. While coaching, he saw the unknown man drive it out of the parking lot. Among the items in his wallet was his retired police department badge.
Officers reviewed the school's video surveillance and a still image taken by the former officer. During the investigation that day, a criminal complaint states, Kirkpatrick was detained near Haven and Oregon – roughly two miles west of the school – in possession of the former officer's police ID.
The officer who spotted Kirkpatrick saw him reaching into a different vehicle before getting in, according to the complaint. The officer also noted there was another man inside.
That man, the complaint states, told police that he was sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle when he woke up to Kirkpatrick in the front seat. The man said Kirkpatrick showed him the police badge, said he was an undercover officer and instructed him not to call police.
Searching the vehicle, officers recovered some of the former officer's belongings as well as a set of keys belonging to another person. That person chose not to press charges.
The former officer's vehicle was later found undamaged near Crab Tree Lane. Kirkpatrick, the complaint states, had disposed of some of the former officer's belongings in a sewer drain. Some items were recovered, but the car keys were not found.
Later in the investigation, officers learned a woman called police to report that an unknown man approached her daughter and showed a police badge, stating he was an undercover officer. According to the complaint, the man – since identified as Kirkpatrick – approached the girl who was sitting in a car, said he was in an accident and told her not to call police. Kirkpatrick fled on foot when the woman came outside, and she saw him throwing items on the ground and into trashcans. There, officers found more of the former officer's belongings.
Kirkpatrick is charged with the following:
- Impersonating a peace officer (two counts)
- Take and drive vehicle without owner's consent
- Concealing stolen property
- Misdemeanor bail jumping (four counts)
Kirkpatrick has a conviction history dating back to 1998 for offenses including retail theft, disorderly conduct and others. At the time of the undercover officer impersonation, Kirkpatrick was out on bond for a retail theft incident.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 10.