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Whoops! Police say tow truck tried to snag cop car

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Whoops!

Authorities said Thursday they arrested the owner of Whoops Towing as he tried to haul off an undercover police car in Oregon.

Michael Alan Selmer, 35, of Falls City, who has spent much of the past decade in prison over several scams, was taken into custody after police got reports that a towing business was operating without a certificate, posting impound warning signs in parking lots, and using a spotter to generate tows, authorities said.

Police say they parked the unmarked vehicle on Tuesday as part of the investigation then arrested Selmer when he showed up in the tow truck.

He was booked on suspicion of failure to register as a sex offender and violating parole terms. The towing investigation was being reviewed by Marion County prosecutors.

A call to Whoops Towing went to a voicemail box that was full. It was unclear if Selmer has an attorney.

Selmer was arrested and convicted in 2008 after posing as a firefighter, paramedic and as someone who ran an ambulance company, authorities said.

He was accused of telling people he had his own ambulance service so he could get donations for police and life-saving equipment.

Police said they had arrested Selmer while he was driving a stolen pickup truck rigged with concealed blue and red flashing police lights and with radios equipped to pick up law enforcement frequencies.

He was later convicted of theft, sex abuse and unlawful use of a vehicle, and was in the state prison system from April 2008 until October 2012, said Betty Bernt, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Corrections.

He was also in state prison from February 2004 until November 2006 after working as an apartment manager. Police arrested him after seven families arrived at an apartment complex, ready to move in, then found no vacancies and their deposit money missing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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