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Police arrest man for fake insurance claim

Fragments sold to Clayton County scrapyard

Charles Puckett Jr.

Charles Puckett Jr.

A Griffin man remains in the Henry County Jail after he allegedly defrauded an insurance company.

McDonough Police Detective J. Hobbs said his department is continuing to search for other suspects involved in the insurance scam.

Hobbs said Charles Lee Puckett Jr., called police to his motel room at the Budget Inn, in McDonough, to report his car had been stolen. McDonough officer D. Fowler met with Puckett to take the report on the missing silver 1999 Cadillac DeVille.

“He said the car was stolen sometime between Nov. 21, at 9 p.m., and he discovered it at 9:49 a.m., on Nov. 22,” said Hobbs.

Puckett, 45, contacted Safeway Insurance Company, to make a claim for his reportedly stolen car. Safeway gave Puckett a check for $3,624.33 to cover the cost of the car, said Hobbs. However, about four months later, the detective said he was contacted by Safeway Auto Insurance Company investigator David Watts, who said he had two recordings of Puckett filing the claim he suspected was fraudulent.

“One of the suspects in the case contacted Safeway Insurance to report Puckett’s fake claim,” said Hobbs. “During the investigation we found out Puckett went to Mailer Road, in Hampton, and broke down the vehicle, then returned to McDonough to report the car stolen.”

According to police, Puckett had a previous theft by taking charge prior to the insurance scam.

Hobbs said a witness informed police that Puckett said he destroyed the car because the suspect said it had mechanical problems. Another suspect in the case took the scraps from the vehicle to United Recycling in Morrow, according to the detective.

“They got $300 for the scrap metal,” said Hobbs.

The police issued a warrant on April 30, for Puckett’s arrest, charging him with the false report of a crime, and fraudulent insurance claim. He was apprehended by the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on May 12.

“Mr. Puckett stated he and [another suspect] talked about breaking the car down and scrapping it, a couple of months prior to the incident,” said Hobbs. “But when the vehicle was missing from the hotel, Puckett said he had no idea [the other suspect] had taken the car. ... He admitted to getting the money from the scrap yard.”

Puckett appeared before Henry County Magistrate Court Judge Robert Godwin May 14. Godwin set a $3,000 bond for Puckett, and bound the case over to Henry County Superior Court.