WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas -- A Central Texas man has been arrested for impersonating a police officer.
Randy Lee Nolen, 43, of Hutto was arrested last Thursday after Williamson County constables were tipped off by other peace officers.
Nolen was the vice president of Emergency Lighting Vehicle Services (ELVS) of Pflugerville. The business helps equip law enforcement agencies with lighting and other special equipment for vehicles.
Authorities say Noeln is involved in at least five incidents, and possibly many more, where he tried to pass himself off as a peace officer. Investigators say he tried to sell everyone, including his neighbors, on the idea that he was an authority figure.
"We actually felt very safe knowing that we had an officer across the street," said Nolen's neighbor D.J. Lichtenwalter. "He said he was out of the U.S. Marshal's Office with a task force team."
Lichtenwalter said Nolen was always kind and respectful and seemed to show concern for his neighbors. He even checked on residents after a nearby home invasion.
"He came in, in full SWAT gear, gun at his leg and full Kevlar," said Lichtenwalter.
Investigators say Nolen has never been a police officer in Texas. In fact, he's a convicted felon in Travis County and not allowed to possess a weapon until 2015.
"Obviously he had a lot of people and not just me," said Lichtenwalter. "Obviously he had a lot of law enforcement fooled."
"Usually for us it is not too hard to spot what we call "wanna-bees," said Williamson County Chief Deputy Constable Mark Birchard, who says Nolen gave no indications he was anything but the vice president of EVLS. "He did not come in here with his lights or siren on. There was nothing that kind of threw flags."
Investigators say Nolen posed as an officer to at least five people. They won't release details about those incidents but say they are the reason he is now facing charges.
"You think you know your neighbors and then something like this happens, right across the street," said Lichtenwalter. "You just never know what can happen around here."