Crime & Courts

KBI: Man posing as law enforcement officer has hit numerous Kansas towns

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is seeking help finding Robert Helms, suspected of impersonating a law enforcement officer in at least two dozen Kansas towns.

The 45-year-old is accused of canvassing the state and cashing or writing bogus checks under the guise, the KBI said in a news release Tuesday. He allegedly flashed a fake badge and credentials at several convenience and other stores, such as Alco, authorities said.

Most recently, Helms was seen in Scott City and Russell on Feb. 1, the KBI said. He is a white man, 5-feet-7, weighing 190 pounds with blue eyes and short gray hair. He wears round glasses at times, may look older than his age and was last seen driving a maroon Dodge or Chrysler minivan.

The string of impersonations stretches back to Jan. 6, according to a timeline of incidents released Tuesday by the KBI.

Last month, Belle Plaine police announced an impostor fitting Helms’ description posed as a sheriff’s deputy from a phony Kansas county and tried to cash a paycheck at two local businesses. Neither clerk cashed the check and alerted police, Chief Gordon Fell said in a Jan. 23 interview with The Eagle.

Helms also is suspected of impersonating law enforcement in Anthony, Ark City, Beloit, Blue Rapids, Clay Center, Eureka, Girard, Holton, Hugoton, Louisburg, Lyons, Kingman, Meade, Phillipsburg, Pratt, Sabetha, Smith Center, Ulysses and Bella Vista, Ark.

Information from the KBI shows he hit Garnett, Kan., on Jan. 17 and Jan. 20.

Anyone with information about Helms’ whereabouts is asked to call 911 or 1-800-572-7463 (KS CRIME).