Deputies: Man angry over lien on new Sarasota home pretends to be sheriff, attempts to intimidate contractors

Updated: Jan. 2, 2020 at 9:24 AM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday after deputies say he tried to impersonate the sheriff in an effort to intimidate local contractors.

In November, a sub-contractor told detectives he had been working on 51-year-old Todd Gieger's new home being built in Sarasota along Benjamin Franklin Drive and was involved with a lien placed on the home by the construction company for non-payment.

The victim said Gieger drove to the victim's home, asking neighbors about Gieger while wearing a black bullet proof vest and law enforcement style badge while claiming to be "the sheriff." Neighbors say at the time, Gieger was driving a white Maserati with New Jersey tags and refused to identify himself when asked.

The sheriff's office investigated and says they learned Gieger had called several other sub-contractors involved in the lien as well as the construction company, all while claiming to be a member of law enforcement.

“In today’s world, it is more crucial than ever for communities to know and trust their law enforcement,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “Lucky for us, our residents are smart and in this incident, they knew something wasn’t right. Credit goes to both cognizant witnesses and great detectives for getting this guy off our streets and out of our community.”

Gieger was arrested and charged with faces two counts of False Impersonation of Law Enforcement. He was released on $3,000 bond.

Citizens are encouraged to always stay aware of their surroundings and if approached by someone who seems suspicious and claims to be an officer or deputy, they should dial 911 immediately. By dialing 911 in Sarasota County, a call taker will be able to provide verification for the caller.

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