COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Lowcountry man is behind bars after authorities say he pretended to be a US Marshal for nearly a year.
The Colleton County Sheriff's Office arrested 32-year-old Lucas Brett Pearce last Friday and charged him with impersonation.
Pearce's arrest stems from an investigation that started on Oct. 23 when the suspect's ex-girlfriend said she saw Pearce was in a possession of a US Marshals badge.
According to the ex-girlfriend, Pearce often presented himself as an officer by wearing the badge and a pistol while in public since April of this year.
In addition, authorities say Pearce had a car that had equipment installed to give it the appearance of a law enforcement vehicle. Investigators say the ex-girlfriend went on to name several people that had seen the badge in Pearce's possession.
The ex-girlfriend's father also gave investigators a set of blue strobe lights which he said he took from Pearce, and reported seeing the suspect with a badge and firearm.
One witness said he saw Pearce's car running unattended at a gas station and observed a gun on the seat. When the witness told Pearce about it, authorities say Pearce shrugged him off.
A report states when the witness asked Pearce if he was an officer, Pearce replied,"What do you think," and turned to face the witness with a badge and gun on his waist.
Another witness reported seeing Pearce earlier this year at a Walmart where he was wearing a US Marshals badge.
The witness said Pearce told him that he worked for the US Marshals Office.
CCSO officials released pictures of a confiscated car which authorities say Pearce had modified to look like a law enforcement vehicle. The car was out fitted with blue lights, a cage and a video camera in the car.
Authorities say deputies spoke with the US Marshals office and confirmed that several agents in the Lowcountry region have been victims of car burglaries, and several badges and firearms have been stolen.
The sheriff's office is continuing the investigation.