A Mobile County man who pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of impersonating a police officer and illegal possession of a forged instrument was arrested again last week and charged with third-degree burglary after allegedly breaking into the apartment of an acquaintance in West Mobile.
Douglas Ryan Roberts, 29, was a candidate for Mobile County constable in 2016, when he was arrested for pulling people over to hand out traffic citations. Prosecutors alleged Roberts drove a Chevy Tahoe outfitted to resemble an official law enforcement vehicle and the tickets required motorists to remit fines to a post office box Roberts had established for himself.
An hour before he was to stand trial for 40 felony charges in the case, Roberts entered a blind plea on 10 charges. Mobile County Circuit Judge Michael Youngpeter subsequently sentenced Roberts to 10 years in prison, though he split it to just two years — six months in jail plus 18 months probation.
In the interim, records indicate Roberts was also named in a harassment complaint in March, after he allegedly harassed Mobile Police Department Capt. Jack Dove by indicating he knew the officer’s home address as the two were exiting a court hearing. Roberts was arrested, pleaded not guilty, and has a preliminary hearing scheduled in June.
In the burglary case, Roberts appears to have broken into the apartment of his former employer, C. Chase Nelson of Alabama Technology Consulting Group. In February, the employer filed suit against Roberts after Roberts allegedly locked the employer out of his own computer systems and financial accounts. In a countersuit, Roberts claims the business was a partnership, and the employer was siphoning funds from a business account to a personal account.
Roberts turned himself in on April 2 and his probation officer sought for him to be held without bond. But it appears on April 8, Judge George Hardesty allowed Roberts to be released on a $10,000 signature bond, while Youngpeter awarded bonds totaling $5,000 on the probation violations. Within hours of his release, according to a motion to show cause filed April 9 by Assistant District Attorney Coy Morgan, Roberts contacted the victim in the burglary case, simultaneously violating an order he abstain from the use of electronic devices.
“The victim and the victim’s family have repeatedly emphasized their fear of the defendant due to recurring harassment, particularly now that the defendant was recently given probation bonds over the state’s adamant objection,” the motion reads.
A hearing on the motion initially scheduled Monday was postponed until May 17. Roberts also pleaded not guilty to the charge of harassing Dove. According to someone with knowledge of the situation, he asked about the officer’s address because he intends to serve him legal papers.
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