Fake Detroit fire inspector steals thousands from gas station

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A man posed as a Detroit official but turns out - he's nothing more than a sneaky thief.

Take a good look at this guy - police say he posed as a Detroit fire inspector and stole thousands of dollars from one Detroit gas station and a pistol from another.

"It wasn't me if it was me he was going to be caught," said Ali Nasser.

Ali Nasser says he wasn't at his Speedy gas station on John R last month when this man came in and flashed his fake fire ID. He told employees he needed to inspect the fire extinguisher. Nasser says he leaves his licensed pistol on the counter in case employees need to protect themselves.

This is what happened after the guy showed his fake badge. FOX 2 is told he came back here, grabbed the fire extinguisher and then walked behind the counter and while the guy was distracted working behind the counter the man puts down the fire extinguisher and grabbed the pistol on the counter and then slipped it in his jacket when no one was looking.

Practically the same ploy played out at this Shell gas station on Woodward in Detroit's midtown a little over a month later.

"A guess it was a fake ID that he showed," said Charles Johnson an employee at the station. "It is the only reason he let him."

Johnson, who works there, says the fraudulent fire inspector acted like he was changing out the extinguisher - when the manager behind the counter turned his back, he swiped nearly $5,000 that was sitting on the safe.

"The fire extinguisher, he put it in one hand he took his other hand and stuffed it on top of the safe and grabbed the money," Johnson said. "He went to the side; put the money in his pocket."

Police want to catch this guy and need your help to do it.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 40s, about 5 feet, 10 inches and about 220 pounds. He has long black hair, a goatee and was last seen wearing a gray Detroit T-shirt and jeans. He drove away in a newer model large red truck.

If you know who he is call Detroit police at (313) 596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP right away.

"To walk into somebody's business is to walk into somebody’s home and take from them," Johnson said. "I hope they catch the guy."