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Fugitive may be armed, accused of impersonating an officer

Lawrenceville police believe Matthew David Buddin, 34, presented himself as a police officer while committing return fraud at a local Walmart. (Special photo)

Lawrenceville police believe Matthew David Buddin, 34, presented himself as a police officer while committing return fraud at a local Walmart. (Special photo)

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Matthew David Buddin

LAWRENCEVILLE — Lawrenceville police have released more information regarding the alleged police impersonator that eluded authorities at a local motel Monday.

According to a press release written by Investigator J.W. Anderson, Lawrenceville police attempted to serve an arrest warrant Monday on 34-year-old Matthew David Buddin at the Crossland Economy Studios, located at 474 West Pike St. “Believing that Budding had barricaded himself in his room,” Anderson said, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was activated to provide assistance.

“It was discovered that Buddin returned to the location at the time that initial officers arrived and was able to get away,” Anderson said. “A subsequent search of his room recovered a cache of weapons, ammunition and police equipment.”

According to authorities, Buddin is a serial police impersonator, using a badge and a gun while committing return fraud at Walmart stores.

Lawrenceville police obtained their original warrants against Buddin on Jan. 9. Anderson said that, on that date, Buddin was wearing a grey shirt, green cargo pants, a badge and a gun while returning items at a local Walmart.

“He told the clerk that he ‘works for Gwinnett County,’” Anderson said. “Further investigation revealed that Buddin is not a peace officer in the state of Georgia and never has been.”

Buddin, described as a white male about 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, was “recently encountered” at a Walmart in Forsyth County, police said. He was armed and carrying a badge during that incident. He also had a “full beard.”

“He is believed to have committed similar offenses in nearby counties and jurisdictions,” Anderson said.

Buddin may be armed. His whereabouts are unknown.

Anyone with information regarding Buddin’s location is asked to contact that Lawrenceville Police Department at 770-963-2443. Anyone coming into contact with him is urged to use caution.