Crime

Bay Area man accused of impersonating CHP officer in Atascadero

Mark Ryan Polini, 27, was arrested Monday, July 19, 2010, on suspicion of possession of a concealed and loaded firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon and impersonating a peace officer. Original story »
Plea: Not guilty What's Next: Pre-preliminary hearing scheduled for 11/23/10.
Mark Ryan Polini, 27, was arrested Monday, July 19, 2010, on suspicion of possession of a concealed and loaded firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon and impersonating a peace officer. Original story » Plea: Not guilty What's Next: Pre-preliminary hearing scheduled for 11/23/10.

A Bay Area man who was allegedly impersonating a CHP officer in Atascadero was arrested early Monday morning.

Mark Ryan Polini, 27, was arrested at 3:15 a.m. Monday after an Atascadero Police Department officer pulled him over as he was driving what they said looked like an unmarked police car near the Atascadero Shell Food Mart at East Front Street and San Gabriel Road.

Driving a black 2001 Ford Crown Victoria, Polini was wearing black pants, a black shirt and a CHP baseball cap, police said.

The officer arrested him on suspicion of possession of a concealed and loaded firearm, possession of a dangerous weapon and impersonating a peace officer.

Polini consented to a search of his car, police said, which revealed a loaded pistol, handcuffs, two badges, several “air soft” pistols and holsters and an expandable police baton. Officers also found collectable coins and jewelry in the car, police said.

Polini’s car was also outfitted with a dashboard camera, front and rear strobe lights, siren, mobile data computer, radios and an interior screen.

He is believed to be unemployed and living in the San Jose area, according to police, but has ties to San Luis Obispo County. Police didn’t say what those ties are.

Polini was booked into County Jail. As of Monday evening, he was released after posting $20,000 bail.

The Atascadero Police Department is seeking potential victims or anyone who may have encountered Polini believing he was a police officer. The department can be reached at 466-9111.

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