La Habra Heights assistant fire chief arrested, accused of impersonating officer

Landscaping around a sign for the La Habra Heights Civic Center
Investigators allege La Habra Heights fire official Timothy Peel used a truck equipped with lights and a siren to illegally stop and detain motorists.
(Jesse Goddard / For The Times)

The assistant fire chief of La Habra Heights was arrested on suspicion of impersonating a peace officer and unlawfully detaining motorists, authorities confirmed.

Timothy Peel, 34, was arrested Thursday by deputies serving a search warrant in the 15000 block of Danbrook Drive near Whittier, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Detectives from the department’s Public Corruption Unit were investigating reports of someone impersonating an officer and falsely imprisoning people, and they identified Peel as the suspect, deputies said.


Investigators allege he used a white 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD equipped with lights and a siren to conduct traffic stops and illegally detain motorists.

Peel was booked into jail at 8:15 a.m. and was released at 3:55 p.m. on $100,000 bond, Sheriff’s Department inmate records show.

La Habra Heights Mayor Dennis Laherty declined to comment Thursday night.

The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for consideration. Peel’s next court date is Jan. 31 at Downey Courthouse.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Peel’s alleged crimes or who believes they may have been illegally stopped and detained by him to contact the Sheriff’s Department at (213) 229-1700.

Those who want to leave an anonymous tip can call Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit