Man impersonates officer at North KC high school

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- "At first it really scared me when I heard about it, " said Susan Miller about a shocking encounter her 16-year-old son recently had with a strange man at Staley High School in Kansas City.

"I was shocked that he was even on a high school campus targeting kids. It's scary," Miller told FOX 4's Robert Townsend during an interview at her home Friday.

Miller said on April 25, a man police later identified as John Picone of Kansas City, parked an older model car in front of her son's Silver Altima outside Staley High.

Tyler Miller was parked near his track coach's car at the time. Susan said her son couldn't believe what happened next.

"This guy pulled in between my son's car and the coach's vehicle, got out of his older car, said he was an officer, flashed a badge and told my son that he needed to look at my son's car because it was stolen! I immediately called Fenton Nissan and asked them if that was the case, and they said no," Susan said.

Investigators said 59-year-old John Picone claimed to be a private investigator with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Independence Police Department. Officers said Picone took pictures of Tyler Miller's car as well as the VIN number.

"I just don't know what he planned on doing with my son's car after stealing it. It's just a strange situation," Susan said.

What's more, investigators said the following week, the suspected police impersonator returned to Staley High School and once again pretended to be a private investigator and told a woman he needed to repossess her car from the school district's bus barn.

Police said during an interview Picone later admitted going to the school and trying to get his hands on the two cars. Officers said they don't know why, but they also said Picone denied impersonating a law enforcement officer.

"I think if he was going around stealing cars then he needs to face all of the repercussions of for that type of crime," Susan said.