Man pretended to be Sarasota sheriff to intimidate contractor, deputies say

Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A New Jersey man thought he could intimidate a local contractor by visiting his home dressed as the sheriff. He was arrested, according to deputies.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Todd Gieger had been trying to intimidate a sub-contractor who was involved in a lien that was placed on his house.

On Nov. 18, he allegedly put on a badge and bulletproof vest and went to the man’s neighborhood.

“He was wearing a bulletproof vest, had a law enforcement type badge clipped to his belt, and he was presenting himself as the sheriff,” said Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Jason Mruczek.

Gieger told the man’s neighbors he was “the Sheriff” and requested information about the contractor for an investigation he claimed to be working on, deputies said.

He was later seen walking around the man’s home while no one was there.

(Photo: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office)

Witnesses provided deputies with a description of Gieger’s vehicle before he was picked out a photo lineup and arrested.

Detectives later learned Gieger had been calling other sub-contractors that were involved in the lien.

“We believe he was trying to get information that was possibly going to help him out in the civil suit he was having with the company that was doing work on his property,” said Mruczek. “He was speaking with the neighbors trying to get any details he could on that one subcontractor.”

During the calls, he would identify himself as law enforcement and demand they answer questions about the company that placed a lien on his home, authorities said.

“If something doesn’t seem right, doesn’t make sense, someone pulling up in a white Maserati with a New Jersey license plate, saying they are the sheriff but not producing any identification, not saying their name, better to back away, contact the actual sheriff’s office,” Mruczek said.

Gieger was arrested on two counts of false impersonation, law enforcement and booked into the Sarasota County Jail, deputies said.

He is being held on a $3,000 bond.

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