Normandy, Missouri (KMOV) – A local police officer is facing felony charges after allegedly forging a vehicle title.
Richard Cooper was arrested on Tuesday at the Normandy Police Department where he was employed.
The alleged incident happened over the summer while Cooper was a part-time officer in Pine Lawn. Court documents state that Cooper submitted a fraudulent vehicle title application at the Olivette licensing office. Investigators say Cooper was attempting to avoid paying a higher sales tax on a new Chevy Impala. News 4 crunched the numbers and determined that Cooper was looking to avoid paying more than $800 in taxes.
The Department of Revenue got the case and started investigating in July 2011. Warrants for Cooper’s arrest were issued just before the holidays. Cooper resigned from his position he was arrested.
Police tell News 4 that Cooper has admitted to committing the crime.
Cooper is the same officer who collapsed during a foot pursuit in Pine Lawn in November. Shortly after that incident he took the full-time job in Normandy.
"This is the first time I've heard about this investigation and the investigation of Officer Cooper," Pine Lawn Police Chief Ricky Collins said. "It's shocking to find a former officer who you had a lot of respect for made this type of offense."
"It's embarrassing, especially for law enforcement or anyone in official capacity, to deceive the state or the city or someone else," said Collins. "It's not acceptable. We should be prosecuted to the fullest [extent] of the law."
Cooper was released without posting bond. His attorney refused comment..
News 4 has learned that Cooper spent four years with the St. Louis Police Department, but left the force in 2005 amid an internal investigation.