Friday, October 03, 2008

Fake Bounty Hunters Captured

Four wannabe bounty hunters were charged Wednesday with impersonating public servants after they failed to collar a fugitive but succeeded in infuriating their neighbors and terrifying the elderly.

The self-styled bounty hunters told police they worked for a fugitive recovery agency called Wargod Inc.

On Friday, according to police, five members of Wargod searched for what one of them said later was a fugitive wanted for armed robbery. They wore black military fatigues, assault vests with empty holsters, and badges as they walked the streets of Stroudsburg that night, prompting emergency calls from concerned citizens.

At first, they were seen standing in front of a bar on Main Street in Stroudsburg, flashing cans of mace and handcuffs.

Then at about 9:45 p.m. Friday, the manager of West Gate apartments — a home for the elderly — dialed 911. The same five people were running up and down the halls trying to get inside one of West Gate's apartments, police said.

Meanwhile, state police — unaware of what was happening West Gate — arrived at Wargod's home base, a house occupied by Kelly Hefferon, 40, on Route 715 in Jackson Township. They were responding to the latest in a series of bitter complaints from neighbors about shots fired in the back yard and sirens sounding until after midnight.

Neighbors also told a reporter that they occasionally had seen the Wargod staffers armed, clad in black and marching in formation up and down Jackson View Road.

State police found Hefferon's two children and a friend there Friday night. One of them, a 16-year-old boy, was wearing a badge and an empty nylon holster. He and his friend said they also were fugitive recovery agents.

Just then, the five Wargod staffers, returning from their hunt at the home for the elderly, pulled into the driveway in a silver Ford Expedition, with a pistol-grip shotgun in the front seat, slugs rattling in the drink holder, and a red light on the dash.

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