Local News

Burlington man was impersonating officer, police say

Posted August 12, 2013

— Burlington police said Monday they have charged a man who was pretending for months to be a private security officer.

Police said Arnold Wayne Southern even stopped and questioned strangers about why they were near Eastbrooke Apartments on Morningside Drive, where he claimed to be working.

Southern, 59, who also lives at the apartment complex, was arrested Sunday afternoon at his residence and charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Police said they began investigating Southern three months ago after receiving information about an armed man, wearing a security uniform and driving a white van, who was representing himself as a private security officer. The man had a gun and other items on a duty belt like those worn by police officers.

An investigation showed Southern has never been a licensed private security officer, nor was he under contract with the apartment management to perform security services.

Southern was held in the Alamance County jail under a $1,500 secured bond.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • anonemoose Aug 12, 2013

    14-277. Impersonation of a law-enforcement or other public officer.

    (a) No person shall falsely represent to another that he is a sworn law-enforcement officer.

    HEY BARNEY!!!!!! Reading is fundamental, comprehension is better. Unless there is MUCH, MUCH more to this story, it won't fly. Maybe an "investigative journalist" could actually get a report and then report rather than printing press releases.

  • mep Aug 12, 2013

    I doubt any real charges will stick... impersonating a security guard, while wearing a security guard uniform is FAR from impersonating a police officer... and since carrying a firearm in plain view (open carry) is legal, as is questing people in your neighborhood.... its going to be hard to get something really hard on this guy.

    Slap on the wrist.... go home and play cop indoors.

  • 678devilish Aug 12, 2013

    A cop wanna be. Glad they got him before something dangerous happened.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 12, 2013

    I wish every neighborhood in the country had a George Zimmerman or Arnold Wayne Southern keeping the trash away. God knows we'd all sleep a lot better at night and half of us wouldn't need to sleep with a firearm tucked under the pillow.

  • CastIronEgret Aug 12, 2013

    They should give him back pay instead of arresting him. He probablly kept some of the rabble out of the neighborhood.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 12, 2013

    Some day somebody's gonna make you want to
    Turn around and say goodbye
    Until then baby are you going to let them
    Hold you down and make you cry
    Don't you know?
    Don't you know things can change
    Things'll go your way If you hold on for one more day Can you hold on for one more day Things'll go your way Hold on for one more day

    I know that there is pain But you hold on for one more day and Break free the chains Yeah I know that there is pain But you hold on for one more day and you Break free, break from the chains

  • bbqchicken Aug 12, 2013

    Zimmerman should have been required to wear a uniform. Just being seen patrolling in a uniform says a lot.


    would you have said the same thing if he had defendend himself against a wanted murderer or had just raped your child

  • golorealist Aug 12, 2013

    "I have been attached on here." - puzzled

    break free from those chains!

  • bbqchicken Aug 12, 2013

    I use to be a security guard. It amounted to being a glorified neighborhood watch. No powers of arrest or anything. The only authority I had was I could yell, "Stop! or I'll yell stop again!". You're telling me that someone could get arrested for impersonating me? Too funny!


    Security guards unarmed or armed only have the rights given to them by the property owner(s). You had no authority to detain because the property owner denied you that right. Even if you were armed that would not change.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 12, 2013

    puzzled, quit whining and try not to get too attached to those guidelines.