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Pursuit in North Highlands leads to arrest of suspect who may have impersonated a deputy

Deputies find shotgun, deputy uniforms in car after pursuit in North Highlands
Deputies find shotgun, deputy uniforms in car after pursuit in North Highlands 03:02

NORTH HIGHLANDS - Investigators are asking for the public's help after a high-speed chase in North Highlands on Saturday night led deputies to arrest a man they say may have tried to impersonate himself as a deputy.

Deputies located a stolen Ford Crown Victoria near Watt Avenue and Peacekeeper Way in North Highlands at about 8:15 p.m. Saturday. But when they tried to pull the driver over, they said he took off. 

Sacramento County Sheriff's Office

The driver, 36-year-old Anthony Whitley, led deputies on a high-speed pursuit for about 15 minutes, deputies said, before they were able to disable the vehicle. 

"There was just cops going everywhere," said Jose Campos, who witnessed the chase.

Campos went from serving up tacos to seeing the stolen Crown Victoria zipping down Watt Avenue. 

"My brother told me, 'No that was not a police car.' It looked like it, but it wasn't," Campos said.

Deputies said Whitley took off running and was apprehended by K-9 Philbert on Viola Drive. 

During a search of the Crown Victoria, deputies said they found a loaded shotgun, an imitation handgun and several Sacramento County Sheriff's uniforms and clothing with sheriff's insignias. 

Sacramento County Sheriff's Office

"Based on the vehicle's resemblance to a law enforcement vehicle, accompanied with the recovered weapons and sheriff's clothing, the sheriff's office is concerned Whitley may have tried to impersonate himself as a deputy," the sheriff's office said in a news release Sunday.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Office's spokesperson Amar Gandhi said the uniforms belonged to a long-retired deputy. It's unknown how Whitley got them. 

People said they were frightened by what Whitley planned to do and how he got all the weapons and uniforms. 

"We don't want that kind of people around the streets," Campos said.

"That scares us as much as it scares anybody else with someone impersonating a law enforcement officer, who knows what they are up to? Who knows what they are doing?" Gandhi said.   

Whitley has a criminal history, deputies said, and has no affiliation with the sheriff's office or any other law enforcement agency. 

The sheriff's office is now asking for the public's help in finding any possible victims that Whitley may have contacted while impersonating a law enforcement member. 

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