A Ceres man faces two counts of impersonating an officer after he dressed as a San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy and searched two locations of a Modesto massage business, police report.
On March 7, police got a report from Vintage Massage Center at 3508 Dale Road that a man entered the business wearing a sheriff’s deputy uniform shirt and went through each room, opening cabinets and drawers, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Heather Graves. He left without saying anything.
“While we are investigating, we find out about another case at another Vintage Massage, on McHenry, a similar incident,” she said. In that first incident, the suspect, later identified as Doyle Swarm, wore a jacket over the uniform shirt. When an employee asked if she could help him, he replied, “I’m a cop,” Graves said, and as at the Dale Road site, he looked through cabinets and drawers.
“Hardly any words were spoken. It was a strange thing. That’s what prompted them to call police the second day.”
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Graves said Swarm wore nothing else that a sheriff’s deputy would: badge, gun belt or any other gear.
Police sent an email, including surveillance images, to other agencies. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department quickly identified him as Swarm, from an encounter deputies had with him in February, Graves said.
Officers served a search warrant at Swarm’s Ceres home and recovered the uniform shirt.
Swarm’s alleged visits to the massage centers appear to be isolated events, Graves said. Police have received no similar reports. If any other businesses have been victimized, she encourages them to come forward.
“Another bit of advice we offer to those at a home or business is if you question somebody’s legitimacy, ask for identification,” she said. “They should have a police-issued ID card, a badge and a gun belt. If there’s still a question, a call to nonemergency dispatch can confirm if law enforcement should be at the location.”
Anyone with information on other incidents that involved Swarm is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Swarm has no history in the Stanislaus County Superior Court, its archives show. But a Las Vegas Sun story from 1997 says the then-32-year-old faced two counts of murder in a robbery gone awry.
The paper reported that Swarm and two other men robbed a saloon that August and crashed into a light pole minutes later during a high-speed pursuit. The driver, Jack George, 46, and other passenger, Donald Miller, 34, were killed. Swarm suffered minor injuries.