Vehicle theft from Top Shooters was false report

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A Missouri man is facing a felony charge in connection with a vehicle theft report he called in Monday night to Columbia police.

The Metro-East Auto Theft Task Force was requested to investigate after a black 2014 Chevrolet Equinox SUV with Missouri plates was reported stolen from the parking lot of Top Shooters, 531 Old State Route 3 in Columbia, sometime between 6 and 8:40 p.m.

The owner of the SUV told Columbia police his vehicle was locked at the time of the incident and that he possessed the only key.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Matt Jany, who heads up the Auto Theft Task Force, said the stolen SUV was recovered sometime after 6 a.m. Tuesday on Wagner Road in rural Millstadt after a motorist reported the unoccupied abandoned vehicle to police.

On Thursday, Jany said that the SUV’s owner, Timothy Crum, 28, of St. Ann, Mo., is being charged with false filing of a police report. He is not yet in custody.

Police believe Crum had planned to benefit from the insurance claim on his stolen vehicle.

“The case was pretty much solved before he had a chance to make the claim,” Jany said.

Crum apparently also attempted to burn his vehicle as part of the incident.

“He attempted to burn it, but was not successful,” Jany said. “The fire didn’t have enough oxygen.”

Jany thanked Columbia police for their work in cooperation with the task force on this case.

“They were very helpful from the beginning,” he said.

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