Craigslist sale results in fraud arrest

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A Prescott man was arrested after he allegedly sold his vehicle on Craigslist and reported it stolen in a scheme to collect insurance money.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said Wade Dickinson, 28, contacted the agency in August to report that his home on the 4500 block of Murphy Station Circle was burglarized.

Dickinson reported that unknown suspects forced entry into his home and took his 2009 Sinister sandrail from the garage, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A new 2009 Sinister sandrail has a value of more than $50,000.

The deputy who took the report suspected Dickinson might have filed a false report as part of an insurance fraud scheme and contacted detectives at the Sheriff's Office.

A detective with the agency's criminal investigations bureau found the report suspicious for several reasons, including a lack of physical evidence.

The detective obtained a copy of an insurance claim filed by Dickinson, confirming the man received a $53,000 check for the sandrail after it was reported stolen.

The detective also discovered that the owner of Sinister Sand Sports, a custom sandrail manufacturing company, was contacted by a California man regarding a 2009 Sinister sandrail he purchased through Craigslist.

The vehicle identification number plate was reportedly removed from the vehicle, but descriptions of manufacturing details provided by the California man indicated it was the same sandrail reported stolen by Dickinson in August, the Sheriff's Office said.

Special agents from the National Insurance Crime Bureau visited the California man's home in mid-November to examine the vehicle. The agents confirmed the vehicle matched the one in Dickinson's report and impounded it.

The California man told investigators he saw the sandrail advertised on Craigslist in early October. He and Dickinson reportedly negotiated a price of $35,000, and he took possession of the sandrail Oct. 30.

The man also told investigators he was suspicious about the sale because Dickinson allegedly refused to provide ownership paperwork.

When he picked up the sandrail, he photographed Dickinson's license plate and contacted Sinister Sand Sports. The owner of the company told him the vehicle was reported stolen in Arizona.

The man told the Sheriff's Office that he confronted Dickinson about the burglary report. Dickinson allegedly claimed the report was not related to the vehicle advertised on Craigslist, and offered the man his boat in hopes of working things out.

On Nov. 25, Dickinson allegedly dropped the boat off at an Arizona home, where the California man's mother lives, and signed over the title.

Yavapai County Sheriff's detectives served a search warrant at Dickinson's home on the 7500 block of Traders Trail in Prescott Valley, where they found a Certificate of Origin for the sandrail. They also recovered tools and other items that were reported stolen.

The search also revealed two rifles, which Dickinson was not legally allowed to own because he has been on active probation, the Sheriff's Office said.

Dickinson is being held without bond on charges including fraudulent schemes, trafficking in stolen property, theft, and prohibited possession of a firearm.