Posted on November 15, 2005

Former New Orleans Officer Arrested While Driving Stolen Truck

AP, Nov. 14

HOUSTON — A former New Orleans police officer was arrested Saturday while driving a stolen truck, authorities said.

Willie Earl Bickham, 39, was expected to face felony charges including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and impersonating a police officer, Houston police Sgt. Nate McDuell said.

Bickham maintained he remained on active duty with the New Orleans agency and had worked in that capacity as recently as last week. However, New Orleans police said Bickham resigned in early September to avoid being fired for abandoning his duties during the Hurricane Katrina crisis.

Bickham, driving a 2005 Chevrolet truck, was pulled over for speeding about 11 a.m. Saturday. The officer who made the stop noticed the black truck had no license plates. The car dealer’s name marked on the truck was a New Orleans dealership that had reported several vehicles stolen during the hurricane crisis, McDuell said.

Bickham, who has family in Houston, could also face weapons charges. He had a pistol issued by the New Orleans department, McDuell said.

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