In my many years of practicing criminal law in Pennsylvania, I have seen my share of unusual robberies, but never one quite like the case of Alex McGarvey, who stands accused of committing a robbery while impersonating a police officer. Harrisburg Police allege that the 28 year old Mechanicsburg man confronted a 67 year old man, who had fallen asleep in his car. McGarvey told the victim that he was a cop, and that the victim was under arrest. McGarvey then proceeded to run away with the man’s wallet, and later used the victim’s credit cards. To add insult to injury, McGarvey called the senior citizen victim “stupid,” as he ran away.
In addition to robbery, McGarvey is charged with three counts of access device fraud for using the stolen credit cards. The robbery and access device fraud charges are graded as third degree felonies punishable by 3.5 to seven years in state prison and fines of $15,000. The charge of impersonating a public servant, an offense those of us working in the criminal justice system rarely see, is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by one to two year incarceration and a $5,000 fine.
McGarvey turned himself in to police on July 5, 2013, after becoming aware that the local media had released still photos of him using the stolen credit cards. In that sense, McGarvey did a good job of impersonating a police officer by essentially arresting himself. He was remanded to Dauphin County prison when unable to post $15,000 bail. Had he not turned himself in and ultimately been arrested, it is safe to assume that his bail would have been much higher than $15,000.
Matt McClenahen is a criminal defense attorney based out of State College, Pennsylvania. He limits his practice to criminal law. http://www.mattmlaw.com/Criminal-Defense-Overview/Theft-and-Property-Crimes.shtml