RUPERT — A Rupert man accused of falsely reporting his pickup and tools stolen to an insurance company has been charged with grand theft and insurance fraud.
Tyler John Stevenson, 23, is charged with three felony counts of grand theft for possession of stolen property, two felony counts of insurance fraud and three misdemeanor counts of petit theft for possession or disposing of stolen property.
Police said in March a Minidoka County man reported that his 2006 snowmobile trailer with four snowmobiles inside the trailer had been stolen.
Later that month police were called after the trailer was found on Bureau of Land Management desert ground in Cassia County. The snowmobiles were missing from the trailer.
Two of the snowmobiles were found near the trailer a couple days later. Police said they appeared to have been ridden through the desert and they were lying on their sides.
Police suspected Stevenson and a warrant was issued for his Facebook account and phone, where they found a text from Stevenson’s mother-in-law telling him she hoped the snowmobiles and trailer she saw on a social media post that had been stolen were not the ones he was storing in her garage.
In another online conversation Stevenson told a person that he was going to repossess sleds inside an enclosed trailer and he knew of two local ones that were “easy.”
Police said on June 27 a fraud investigator for an insurance company said Stevenson had taken out renter’s insurance, filed a false burglary claim for a 2005 pickup and tools and received payment for it.
A preliminary hearing is set in the case at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Minidoka County Magistrate Court.