5:41 PM
A former cop with the Pineville police department is in trouble with the law for allegedly stealing a laptop computer during a traffic stop in 2007 while on duty for the department.

Andrew W. Cummings, 25, of Anderson, was charged with felony stealing on Tuesday (12-23-08) in McDonald County Circuit Court and has been released on $7,500 bond.

Cummings, (who is now employed as a law enforcer at the Southwest City Police Department and as a reserve officer for the Noel Police Department,) problems with the law stem from a traffic stop on July 4, 2007.

According to the probable cause statement, Anderson, was a Pineville police officer at that time, when he pulled over and arrested Teri Townsend on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

It was during that traffic stop that Cummings allegedly removed a laptop computer from within Teri Townsend's vehicle and placed it in his squad car.

After Townsend's release she requested that her computer be returned to her. Cummings denied having it and did not return it.

According to legal paperwork filed with the court, on July 19, 2007, the woman reported the computer as stolen to the to Pineville police department. When Cummings was questioned about the missing laptop by Corporal Brad Bearden he allegedly, "denied having Townsend's property, or knowing it's whereabouts."

The Joplin Globe reports that Cummings was placed on leave from the department sometime soon after the complaint, pending an investigation of the incident.

On Monday, Cummings is alleged to have left a laptop with the Noel marshal’s office to have some software installed on it. Oswald Amos checked the computer’s serial number, and it matched to the stolen laptop reported as stolen by Townsend.

The Globe states that a spokesman for the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Program in Jefferson City did say by phone that Cummings continues to hold a law-enforcement certification.