San Diego County Sheriff patch
A San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy’s patch. Courtesy of the department

A man who allegedly posed as a sheriff’s deputy, detaining two juveniles and taking their skateboards in Vista, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of impersonating a peace officer.

Abraham Joseph Nava, 24, had his bail set at $110,000.

Nava was arrested Thursday, days after the sheriff’s department had begun an investigation after someone contacted them about a suspect claiming to be an undercover deputy.

During interviews with several employees from businesses in the Main Street area of Vista, investigators learned that the suspect had passed out fake business cards and was interacting with juveniles, said sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Scroggins.

Investigators learned that two juveniles were detained by the suspect and had their skateboards taken, Scroggins said.

After identifying Nava as the suspect, investigators got a warrant to search his home and discovered several pieces of San Diego County Sheriff’s Department-specific uniform items, including badges, Scroggins said.

A box of fraudulent sheriff’s department business cards also was found, according to Scroggins.

Nava faces four years and eight months in prison if convicted.

A readiness conference was set for June 26 and a preliminary hearing for June 28.

— City News Service