ORLANDO -- It was a week before Halloween, but police say Joshua Chavarria did his best cop dress-up act when he carjacked and robbed a man in Orlando.
Chavarria’s gear -- a bulletproof vest with “sheriff” on the chest -- wasn’t from a costume shop. It was stolen, along with guns and other equipment, from an Orange County deputy’s vehicle last month, a police report says.
The carjacking occurred about 12:05 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of an apartment complex off Conway Road in Orlando.
The victim said he was sitting in his car when he got a knock at his window.
He said he saw a vest- wearing man, later identified as Chavarria, who police say was carrying a handgun.
The victim said the carjacker ordered him out of the car, before handcuffing and searching him.
He took the victim’s property and cash, police say, before stealing his car and fleeing the scene.
Investigators soon dis- covered that a vest similar to the one the victim had described had been stolen from a sheriff’s office drug-unit vehicle a month ago.
According to an incident report, thieves struck Deputy Kurtis Stewart’s agency sport-utility vehicle over the weekend of Sept. 20. The SUV had been parked in front of the deputy’s home.
Stolen were two vests, a Glock handgun, a Taser and cartridges, two knives, a tactical mask, a sheriff’s patch, several ammunition magazines and a tactical short-barreled shotgun.
Deputies investigating the burglary told Orlando police they thought the vest had been traded in a drug transaction. They identified Chavarria, 22, as the man thought to have received the vest.
Chavarria was arrested early Thursday after a SWAT standoff that began the previous evening at the Windmill Point apartments on Alafaya Trail. Deputies had gotten a tip he was there.
A SWAT team eventually fired tear gas into the apartment, and deputies were able to take Chavarria into custody and transport him to the Orange County Jail. He is being held without bail.
Chavarria declined to talk to police without an attorney present. The carjacking victim later picked him out of a photo lineup. He faces several charges, including aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment, carjacking and robbery with a firearm, impersonating an officer and sale or delivery of Xanax.
Sheriff’s Office policy prohibits firearms from being left in the passenger cabin of an unattended vehicle. The gear stolen from Stewart’s vehicle was in the SUV’s cargo area, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.
An internal investigation into the SUV break-in is under way. Investigators have recovered all of the stolen gear except for a handgun and vest, the Sheriff’s Office said.