SOUTH ROXANA — The South Roxana Police Department arrested Marcus Rose of South Roxana for disorderly conduct after falsely reporting a crime.
The South Roxana Police Department responded at approximately 5:45 p.m. March 15 to the 100 block of Sinclair Avenue in reference to a male subject reporting he possessed anthrax.
In a press release, Police Chief Bob Coles said he was notified about the incident from patrol officers. He said he was skeptical of the complaint’s validity but police had to treat the threat as being real until it could be proven otherwise.
Once the police department secured the scene, it turned over the area to South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner. Coles instructed his officers to investigate the complaint and if it was determined to be false to make an arrest over the incident.
Coles said the incident shut down a major road into South Roxana, and took the resources of six officers from three police departments, numerous South Roxana Fire Department Personnel and the Madison County Hazardous Material Response Team.
Once the substance was tested and confirmed not to be anthrax, it was later revealed the alleged substance was candle wax. After the test, officers took Rose into custody for disorderly conduct and lodged him in the Madison County Jail.
“Like many police departments who are understaffed and have numerous other cases to investigate or calls of service to respond to, I do not take calling in false police reports lightly,” Coles said.
“Our police department does not have a records clerk, secretary or full-time investigator. So when a major crime occurs, I come out and help our officers investigate the incident. I have to pull an officer off the street just to keep up with the secretarial demands of the job, which means one less officer patrolling our town.”
“With such an employee shortage, I cannot as the chief stand by and allow this disruption to our town and cost to the taxpayers go without notice,” he said. “It is unknown why Rose decided it was a good idea to call in such a threat, but hopefully others can learn from his mistake on calling in false reports.”