ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A volunteer firefighter was arrested for impersonating a police officer after multiple reports of his suspicious behavior, including one stop in which he pulled over a Wells County confinement officer.
Alec Dean Sanders, 25, who according to court documents is a member of a volunteer fire department northwest of Fort Wayne, was arrested Tuesday and charged with a Level 6 felony count of impersonation of a public servant.
Samuel Smith- the Wells County confinement officer- reported that he was pulled over by a “police impersonator” on Feb. 23, according to newly released Allen Superior court documents.
Around 12:15 p.m., a vehicle with red and blue lights pulled Smith over on Indiana 1 near Interstate 469 and said he was speeding 66 miles-per-hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone.
Smith reported that the impersonator- who did not identify himself- gave him a verbal warning and never took his license, registration or any identifying information to do a records check.
Instead, Sanders reportedly told Smith to follow the supposed cop car for an unknown reason, giving Smith the opportunity to take a video of the suspect vehicle, a black Dodge Charger with a Marine Corps Indiana license plate.
Sanders, of Churubusco, was described as wearing a black sweater with a white triangle patch on the left sleeve, military-style pants, boots, and large gauges in both ears. According to court documents, he had a gun in a holster on his hip but no other equipment on his belt.
Police later confirmed Sanders worked at a security company in Fort Wayne and was wearing his uniform when he pulled over the officer, according to Smith’s description of the encounter in court documents.
The next day, a Wells County Sheriff’s detective began investigating and was told by two officers in Whitley County and Albion that the suspect car had been spotted in the past.
The license plate traced back to a Charger belonging to Sanders, and police in Churubusco then found the car and took pictures to compare to Smith’s original description.
The investigation found that, while driving that same car, Sanders had been stopped by Indiana State Police in 2021 and 2022, and most recently on Feb. 12, 2023 by Fort Wayne Police for expired plates.
Police interviewed Sanders on Feb. 27, and he denied pulling anyone over in his Charger.
Sanders was booked into Allen County Jail on Tuesday.