Police Arrest Fake Cop Attempting to Scam a Local Business

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DATE/TIME: June 22, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: 1201 Orient Road, Tampa

VICTIM: Barton's Tree Service, 610 East Zack Street, Tampa

SUSPECT: Michael A. Bellamy, B/M, DOB: 11/30/1989, 7908 Allamanda Avenue, Tampa


Tampa Police officers arrested Michael Bellamy for posing as a police officer attempting to sell seized property to a business owner. The owner of Barton's Tree Service contacted the police department on June 21st after he received a strange call from a man who identified himself as a Tampa Police detective. The suspect told the victim that he worked for a special police squad and that they seized a large amount of tree cutting equipment during a recent operation. The suspect offered to sell the victim the equipment for $20,000 which was well below fair market value. The phony detective explained that before the exchange could take place he needed the owner to rent a limousine for the chief of police so that she could take underprivileged children on an outing.

Detectives worked with the victim and Bellamy accepted a cash payment in lieu of the limousine service he requested. The suspect arranged to meet the victim at the Orient Road Jail on June 22nd. Instead, an undercover Tampa Police detective met Bellamy at the jail for the transaction and he was arrested without incident. Detectives interviewed the suspect who admitted to committing the crime and to other similar schemes in the past. The suspect was charged with Impersonating a Police Officer during the Commission of a Felony, Scheme to Defraud, Communications Fraud and Grand Theft.

Anyone who feels they may have been victimized by this suspect is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.

Janelle McGregor
Public Information Office