In early August of this year, 28-year-old Wade Dickinson reported to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office that his residence in the 4500 block Murphy Station Circle, Prescott, had been burglarized. Dickinson told the deputy that unknown persons had forced entry into his home and his 2009 Sinister brand sand-rail had been taken from the garage. This vehicle as new is valued in excess of $50,000. Several weeks later, the reporting deputy contacted detectives with concern that Dickinson may have filed a false report as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
A detective from the Criminal Investigations Bureau with an expertise in vehicle insurance fraud, reviewed the circumstances and found them suspicious based on several factors including lack of physical evidence. The detective obtained a copy of the State Farm Insurance claim filed by Dickinson and confirmed Dickinson received a $53,000 check for the "loss" involving the sand-rail.
As the investigation continued, the detective learned that the owner of Sinister Sand Sports, maker of Sinister custom sand-rails, had been contacted by a man in California regarding a 2009 Sinister sand-rail purchased from Dickinson. In conversation with the California man, the owner of Sinister Sand Sports determined a VIN plate had been removed. Using unique manufacturing detail descriptions, it was discovered the sand-rail was in fact the same one reported stolen by Dickinson in August.
In mid-November, Special Agents from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) went to the California location, examined the sand-rail and confirmed it was the one owned by Dickinson and reported stolen. The vehicle was impounded. The victim in California explained that in early October of this year, he saw the sand-rail advertised on Craigslist. He contacted Dickinson and negotiated a price of $35,000 to purchase the vehicle. On October 30, the victim took possession although he was suspicious of the sale because Dickinson would not provide ownership paperwork. The victim smartly took a photo of Dickinson's driver's license. Following his purchase, the victim had contact with the owner of Sinister Sand Sports and learned Dickinson had reported this sand-rail stolen to YCSO. The victim confronted Dickinson with this information and Dickinson "assured" him this was not the same vehicle. Dickinson even offered to give the victim his boat in hopes of working things out. On November 25, 2013, Dickinson dropped off the boat at the victim's mother's home in Arizona and signed over the title.
On December 3, 2013, YCSO detectives served a search warrant at Dickinson's current home in Prescott Valley, 7500 block of Traders Trail, and recovered tools and other items that had been reported stolen in August, including the Certificate of Origin for the 2009 sand-rail that also had been reported stolen. Additionally, the search revealed 2 rifles associated with Dickinson who is on active probation and is a prohibited possessor.
Dickinson is being held without bond on charges including Fraudulent Schemes, Trafficking in Stolen Property, Theft and Prohibited Possession of a Firearm.
A "Sinister" brand sand-rail similar to the one involved in this scheme