Sheriff: Driver made up carjacking claim after crashing into two homes

 
 
Updated 9/12/2018 10:04 AM
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  • James R. Hilliard

    James R. Hilliard

  • A Warren Township man is facing multiple charges after authorities say he crashed his pickup truck into two homes early Tuesday, left the scene then falsely claimed he'd been the victim of a carjacking.

    A Warren Township man is facing multiple charges after authorities say he crashed his pickup truck into two homes early Tuesday, left the scene then falsely claimed he'd been the victim of a carjacking. Courtesy of Lake County Sheriff's Office

A Warren Township man crashed his pickup truck into two homes near Gages Lake early Tuesday morning then falsely reported he'd been the victim of a carjacking, authorities said Wednesday.

James R. Hilliard, 28, of the 18000 block of Orchard Lane, faces a felony disorderly conduct charge stemming from the false report allegations, along with misdemeanor charges of criminal damage to property and driving under the influence of alcohol, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

His arrest followed an investigation launched about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday when sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a vehicle in a backyard in the 33000 block of North Evergreen Drive, Warren Township.

Deputies arrived to find an unoccupied white Ford F350 pickup parked in the yard between two homes, in the area of North Evergreen Drive and West Timber Lane. Both homes and the truck had recent damage on their exteriors, sheriff's police said.

As deputies searched for the driver, the sheriff's 911 Emergency Communications Center received a call from Hilliard reporting he had been carjacked at a Warren Township bar, authorities said. He later met with deputies at a nearby residence.

Sheriff's police said further investigation determined Hilliard was not carjacked, but had driven his truck into the houses then fled the scene.

In addition to the criminal charges, Hilliard was cited for unlawful possession of cannabis, illegal transportation of alcohol and numerous other traffic offenses, sheriff's police said.

Hilliard was released from the Lake County jail after posting 10 percent of a $20,000 bail. His next court date is Sept. 18.

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