A Flint man was arrested, accused of impersonating a Michigan State Police trooper while attempting to scam a teen in Florida.
Troopers from MSP Lapeer Post arrested Jason Leon Inman, 38, of Flint, on Feb. 7.
Police said Inman attempted to scam 14-year-old Hunter Hamilton, who lives in Florida, by convincing him he was a MSP trooper that could be trusted.
"It's messed up that he did this to me," Hunter said.
Inman’s arrest follows a four-month investigation that revealed Inman gained access to a MSP patrol vehicle that was being repaired at his job, police said.
Police said the investigation revealed Inman posted a remote-control boat for sale on Facebook in the fall of 2018 for about $400.
Hunter saw the post and contacted Inman to purchase the boat after working hard to raise the money.
"I came home every day from school in the summer time. I was cutting grass with my friends to make money," Hunter said.
Inman agreed to sell the boat to the teen and advised him to send the money and then he would mail him the boat, according to police.
Police said the teen became suspicious of sending the money and in response, Inman videotaped himself entering and driving a fully marked MSP cruiser that was at the dealership for repairs.
Police said in the video Inman stated, “That’s my car. I’m a state trooper.”
"He's driving a state police car and shows him getting inside of it," Hunter said. "He told me he was a Michigan State Police officer so this is why I kind of believed him."
After receiving the video, the teen sent Inman the money for the boat, but after a few weeks of not receiving the boat, police said he contacted Inman.
Police said Inman told the teen that he scammed him, then promptly closed his Facebook account.
"Looked at the video, he's actually wearing a Ford mechanic shirt. It said Ford mechanic or Michigan. That's when I realized he's not a police officer," Hunter said.
That's when Hunter called the real state police.
"Definitely something alarming and concerning to us. Not only taking the state police vehicle, but identifying yourself as a state trooper," MSP Lt. Duana Zook said.
A detective realized the video was shot at a Lapeer dealership that worked on one of their cars. That's when they busted Inman.
"I think that's pretty cool. He could've done this to other people, other kids. And I really don't want that happening," Hunter said.
Inman was arraigned on Feb. 8 on charges including unlawfully driving away a motor vehicle, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, impersonating a peace officer to commit a crime, using a computer to commit a crime, and larceny by false pretenses.
Police said Inman is also a habitual offender.