Nathan Belcher, age 18, was driving a silver Saturn with Missouri tags of 9CC-26W shortly after midnight when he attempted to stop a vehicle containing the three female occupants in the area of 26th and Wisconsin. Belcher had a modified strobe light with red and blue lenses and plugged it into the cigarette plug of his vehicle.
When Belcher attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver became suspicious due to his erratic driving and called 911 on her cell phone. The driver kept driving until 32 and Connecticut, where she lost sight of Belcher.
Joplin Police made contact with Belcher at 2907 Winfield, where he was cited for impersonating a police officer and careless and imprudent driving. The strobe light was also confiscated by police.
Citizens should be aware that Joplin Police Department unmarked vehicles are equipped with both lights and sirens. Anyone who is uncertain about the identity of a police vehicle can call 911 to verify they are being stopped by an officer.