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Theft report leads to fraud charges



Staff Writer


A western Lincoln County man is accused of trying to defraud an insurance company by claiming his trailer and motorcycle were stolen in October, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Shelby police told local deputies they found the items inside a Cleveland County storage facility on May 6.

William Minford Chatham III, 38, of 426 Hulls Grove Church Road in Vale, was charged Monday with two felony counts of insurance fraud, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The man reported on October 13 that the property, valued at more than $27,000 together, had been stolen from his residence. He told deputies he last saw the trailer and motorcycle the night before in his driveway while outside with his dog.

Deputies said Chatham submitted a false claim to State Farm Insurance that the trailer and motorcycle had been stolen when he had actually been hiding the items inside the Shelby storage unit the entire time.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detective Robin Powell recovered the items on May 8, the agency said.

Chatham has since been released on a $5,000 unsecured bond.

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