MADISON, Wis. -

A former Sheriff's Department employee put on her old uniform and passed herself off as a law enforcement officer as she wrote bad checks Tuesday at Jim's Coins and Stamps in Madison, police said.

Madison police said that Tamara L. Moe, 33, of Scandinavia, Wis., clad in a Waupaca County Sheriff's Department uniform, told a clerk that she was in town for training and that she needed to buy some coins for a couple of elderly Madison clients.

Moe told the clerk that she is a deputy sheriff who moonlights as a coin dealer, according to a Madison Police Department incident report.

The clerk said he would have to verify she had sufficient funds in her account to cover the $5,407 purchase, and Moe told the clerk she needed to get coins to clients quickly, as they were very anxious, according to the incident report.

Respectful of her law enforcement status, the clerk allowed Moe to take nearly $550 worth of coins before account verification, Madison police said.

After she left, the clerk began to get a bad feeling about the customer. He looked up her criminal record on a state website and learned charges of issuing worthless checks had been filed against her, police said. The clerk then called the Waupaca County Sheriff's Department and learned the woman was no longer employed there and had not been in some time.

Madison police were called, and officers contacted the woman's credit union. Her account had been forced to close, police said.

As the clerk talked with the Madison police officer, it was learned Monona police had just arrested the suspect on charges of issuance of a worthless check, impersonating a peace officer and bail jumping.

Monona police said the suspect was attempting to buy items at Capital City Coins and Jewelry, 6025 Monona Drive, with a worthless check while wearing a Waupaca County Sheriff's Department uniform.

Madison police said the suspect still had the coins belonging to Jim's Coins and Stamps on her. She planned on taking the coins to a pawn shop, Madison police said.

Following her arrest, Moe told a Madison police officer that she is struggling on a number of fronts, including past heroin use, according to the incident report.