Stolen vehicle found, suspect accused of using another’s ID, Grass Valley police say
April 9, 2018
Someone accused of impersonating another person would only face a misdemeanor, if the assumed identity wasn't real, authorities said.
Police in the case of 29-year-old Steven Lee Leatherman levied a felony accusation of impersonating another against him because he flashed a North Carolina ID of an actual person when talking to police Saturday afternoon, Grass Valley Police Capt. Steve Johnson said.
Accused of stealing a 1984 Mercedes-Benz C280, Leatherman also faces a felony accusation of vehicle theft and a city code violation of failing to identify himself. Held on a $10,000 bond, Leatherman remained Monday in the Nevada County Jail, reports state.
Police arrested Leatherman after speaking to the owner of the stolen Mercedes, Johnson said.
An officer took a report around 5 p.m. Saturday about the vehicle stolen from the 100 block of Arcadia Drive and entered the information into a database. A Nevada County deputy then spotted the vehicle after 6 p.m. that day in the Dollar General parking lot on Nevada City Highway, the captain said.
"It was unoccupied at that time," Johnson said.
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They watched the vehicle for some time before the Grass Valley officer stepped inside the business. He saw a man, later identified as Leatherman, who ducked out of sight in an apparent attempt to hide, he added.
The officer then detained Leatherman and found a knife and a laser-cut key to the Mercedes on him. He arrested Leatherman and asked for his ID, the captain said.
"He verbally identified himself as Justin Cope and even had a North Carolina ID card with that name on it," Johnson said.
The officer continued questioning Leatherman, who then properly identified himself, he added.
According to Johnson, Leatherman was with someone who visited another person at the Mercedes owner's home the day before the theft. Authorities believe Leatherman took the key during that visit.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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