The arrival on Tuesday of video game sequel Grand Theft Auto V generated a staggering first-day worldwide gross of $800 million. But at one local mall, it was more like the Keystone Cops.
Per a report by Staten Island Advance crime reporter John Annese, a trio of locals were mistaken for cops when they arrived at the Staten Island Mall driving an unmarked police car purchased at auction. One of the young men is the son of a retired police officer, another an NYPD auxiliary, allowing them to take advantage of an unforeseen opportunity to cut to the front of the long, midnight line:
Santanastaso had his father’s NYPD shield tattooed on his arm, Kirsheh was carrying a fake NYPD shield in his wallet and Abdel Sayed had his auxiliary badge and ID, according to court papers and law enforcement sources.
One of them flashed a badge to get inside the mall building, and Abdel Sayed asked a GameStop manager if he could buy the game. When the manager asked who he was, he said “I’m with the NYPD,” the source said. The manager saw the auxiliary badge underneath his shirt and OKed the purchase, selling the game to Abdel Sayed and Santanastaso, the source said.
Here’s where it gets really wacky. As the trio departed, their unmarked police car was spotted, pursued and pulled over by an actual unmarked police car. The three have since been charged with second-degree criminal impersonation, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
[Image courtesy: Rockstar Games]