WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A man is returning to custody for allegedly impersonating an officer and stealing a truck after being released from jail in Washington County.
Ryan Thompson, 36, was found by police at his house in St. George after they received a report claiming he stole a vehicle and drove home shortly after being released from the Purgatory Correctional Facility.
The police reported finding the stolen truck outside of Thompson’s address and locating Thompson on the property. He then allegedly told police he was his brother.
Police arrested him and recited his Miranda Rights while driving back to the county jail. Thompson allegedly told police “he had been having some mental episodes lately and had also relapsed on drugs,” according to the statement.
Thompson reportedly said he heard a voice telling him to “pretend to be a cop” or else they would “lock him back up and not let him talk to his family.” The jail surveillance cameras allegedly show Thompson sneaking into a secure portion of the building that was temporarily unlocked for a training exercise and exiting holding a deputy uniform shirt.
He then allegedly put the shirt on and tucked it into his jeans and left the building, telling a civilian staff member near the front of the building he was “the boss”. He then tried to open several cars and allegedly ended up stealing a pickup truck.
Police say Thompson confirmed he pretended to be an officer and stole the truck, however, “most of his actions were not too clear to him due to drugs and mental illness,” the affidavit said.
“It is clear Ryan is not in his correct state of mind and in his own words this is leading to him committing these crimes,” the affidavit said.
Thompson was booked in the Washington County Jail on May 22 facing charges of theft and burglary, a second and third-degree felony, in addition to false personal information with intent to be another actual person, and impersonation of an officer, both misdemeanor charges.