Mom, daughter and accomplice arrested in 'stolen' car scheme

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The following UPDATE was sent by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

CHINO VALLEY - Thanks to a tip from Yavapai Silent Witness and extensive follow-up by a Yavapai County Sheriff's Office Detective, 3 suspects have been arrested for participating in an insurance fraud scheme involving the "stolen" vehicle and rims. The suspects include Chino Valley residents Tracey Tatum, age 39, Lacey Tatum, age 21, and Mayer resident Terrell Loomis, age 39.

Detective David Zavos, also a member of the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force, began assisting the Chino Valley Police Department with this case. After a media release regarding the stolen rims found missing from the GMC Denali's remains, Detective Zavos received an anonymous tip identifying possible suspects who may have been purposely burned the Denali to recover insurance money. Lacey Tatum and her boyfriend had reported the Denali stolen on October 5, 2008. After several weeks of follow-up and interviews, Detective Zavos met with Loomis on November 6, 2008, regarding his alleged participation.Loomis eventually admitted assisting his friend, Tracey Tatum, who requested his help with the scheme. On October 5, 2008, he and Tracey drove the Denali to a remote location where he removed the rims, poured gas on the vehicle, and set it on fire. They returned in his truck with the rims which he eventually sold in Phoenix. Tracey also gave him a laptop computer which belonged to her daughter Lacey and had been stored in the Denali. Neither Lacey nor her boyfriend was aware of the scheme at this time. Tracey told Lacey after the case became public.

Loomis was arrested for a felony count of Insurance Fraud and booked at the Prescott Detention Center. On the same day, detectives contacted Tracey and Lacey Tatum at their home in Chino Valley. Tracey was arrested and booked for Insurance Fraud. She told detectives her intent in the scheme was to help her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend out of a financial jam. Lacey was also arrested for delayed knowledge / participation in the fraud scheme and booked for one count of Insurance Fraud. Her boyfriend's participation, if any, is still under investigation.

No money had been paid out by the involved insurance company.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau website, , has detailed information on how to detect this type of fraud and the resulting cost to consumers.


October 13, 2008

On October 5, 2008, the Chino Valley Police Department completed a report involving the theft of a 2007 GMC Denali SUV. The burned remains of this vehicle were found by a quad rider on October 8th and reported to YCSO. The vehicle had been located off of Perkinsville Road and Forest Service Road 164 in the Prescott National Forest.

YCSO Detective Dave Zavos, who is a member of the Arizona Vehicle Theft Task Force, was called to investigate. Detective Zavos was able to verify vehicle identification information and confirm the vehicle's stolen status. Zavos also discovered that the Denali's 4 wheels and rims had been stolen.