Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Former Officer Mark Anderson Accused of Stealing Patrol Car

From former acting police chief to evading arrest, a once respected McComb lawman found himself behind bars Wednesday.

The ex officer is accused of stealing a patrol car.

Nearly three weeks after abruptly retiring from the McComb Police Department, former acting chief and former Lt. Mark Anderson reported to the police station at 5:30 wednesday morning.

Authorities say he convinced an employee to let him inside the building.

"He signed up on the duty roster and reported to work and got in the patrol car and was patrolling the streets," said Chief Gregory Martin.

Martin said Anderson, who he describes as a good officer, drove away in unit 191.

He was in full uniform with his firearm and was reportedly seen at a funeral and cruising the city for 12 hours defying orders.

"He did not report to me at any time during this day. A supervisor on shift made contact with him earlier and he was instructed to return. He failed to return the vehicle," said the chief.

Investigators said they do not know why the 44 year old officer exhibited such strange behavior.

He had served with the department for 21 and a half years.

An article about Anderson appeared in tuesday's Enterprise Journal.

He had previously been at odds with McComb's city leaders filing complaints against them.

According to the chief, Anderson may have been under stress and because he was armed they wanted to work with him to get him to return the vehicle.

"I didn't issue an order at that time to make an arrest on sight, but I wanted the officer to be aware that he was in the patrol car without authorization," the chief added.

As the end of the shift approached Pike county deputies took Anderson in custody.

He was charged with unauthorized use of a government vehicle and impersonating an officer.

Both are misdemeanor charges.

For his safety Anderson was transported from the Pike County Jail to the Lincoln County facility.

He posted bond Wednesday evening and has been released from the Lincoln County jail.

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