SOUTH ROXANA - The South Roxana Police Department arrested a subject in the 100 block of Sinclair Avenue at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, after a reporting that a man possessed anthrax.

Marcus Rose of South Roxana, was arrested for disorderly conduct after falsely reporting a crime.

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South Roxana Police Department responded to the 100 block of Sinclair Avenue on Wednesday in reference to a male subject reporting he possessed anthrax.

"I was notified about the incident from my patrol officers," South Roxana Police Chief Bob Coles said. "Even though I was highly skeptical of the validity of this complaint, we had to treat the threat real until it could be proven otherwise.

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"Once the police department secured the scene, we turned over the area to South Roxana Fire Chief Todd Werner. I instructed my department to investigate the complaint further and if this complaint was proven to be false to make an arrest over the incident."

Coles continued: "This single complaint shut down the major road into South Roxana, tied up 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, the police department took Marcus 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 officer 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. It is unknown why Rose decided it was a good idea to call in such a threat, but hopefully other can learn from his mistake on calling in false reports."

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