A candidate for Mobile County Constable has been arrested and charged with 20 counts of impersonating an officer after deputies discovered he had issued and likely collected fees from several motorists.
According to Lt. Paul Burch of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas Ryan Roberts has been the focus of an investigation for the past two weeks, which culminated in his arrest on Wednesday after deputies conducted searches of his home and vehicle.“He was issuing citations in areas around West Mobile and requesting fines be sent to an address he set up,” Burch told Lagniappe. “He had a lot of gear like a constable’s uniform and a Silver Tahoe equipped nicer than most of the city or county vehicles with radio equipment, guns, sirens, lights and everything.”
Burch said Roberts was not a constable but was seeking to be elected as one in the upcoming general election. According to probate records, Roberts had registered as “Doug Roberts” to run for the position of District 66 constable in Mobile County during the GOP primary in March.The MCSO’s investigation began when an off-duty deputy working at USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital received a complaint from a handicapped patient who said they’d been issued a parking citation despite having the necessary decals.
According to Burch, the citation wasn’t legal and had allegedly been issued by Roberts. He said deputies have since captured Roberts on video issuing additional citations in West Mobile.
He allegedly told investigators he’d “been deputized,” though Burch said the Mobile County Constables Association does not issue citations and hopeful constables are not deputized.
Altogether, Roberts is facing 20 counts of impersonating an officer based on evidence found during a search of his home and vehicle, though detectives aren’t sure yet how long Roberts may have been issuing false citations to motorists.
“Right now we’re trying to understand if, in fact, anyone has mailed in money to him and what he may have been done with it,” Burch said. “During a search of his home, we found 20 discarded citations that we’re assuming people mailed to him. On the citations it says, ‘mail check or money order,’ so we’re assuming people enclosed checks with those citations.”
According to Burch, deputies will now begin the process of subpoenaing Robert’s bank records to determine if anyone was defrauded by his alleged activity.
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