Robber posed as police, officials say

Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Prince George's County police officer willingly lent his cruiser to a man who used it to impersonate an officer and take money from Hispanics during patdowns, authorities said Friday.

The officer and the man were acquaintances, but the officer might have thought the man was a sworn fellow officer who needed a cruiser while his own was being repaired, said Capt. Misty Mints, the assistant public affairs commander for the police department.

She said police have arrested the man who they think impersonated an officer, and they have placed the officer whose car was used on paid administrative leave.

The officer had not been charged with any crimes, and police were still investigating.

"It's completely outrageous and an extreme egregious act," Mints said. "I have no idea why he would allow this person to access his cruiser."

Mints identified the officer as Dato Dacilien, a five-year veteran assigned to the District 4 station. She said that, at least preliminarily, investigators do not think he knew about the robberies.

In a phone interview, Dacilien said: "This individual was very good at what he does. He was able to manipulate a lot of people, including myself as a police officer." He declined to elaborate.

Larry E. Hawkins, 27, of Temple Hills was charged with armed robbery, impersonating a police officer and other related counts, court records show.

Mints said Hawkins is a former Bladensburg police officer.

No one answered at his apartment, and no one returned a written message left there. A woman who answered the phone at his parents' home declined to comment.

Hawkins is also the brother and roommate of Prince George's police officer Brandon Hawkins, Mints said. Investigators think that Larry Hawkins might have taken his brother's uniform and worn it during at least one robbery, she said.

The two are about the same size, and cruiser camera footage recorded Larry Hawkins wearing what looks like an actual Prince George's uniform, she said.

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