Man Arrested After Reporting Car Stolen

A two month investigation into an auto accident and reported car theft has led to the arrest of the car’s owner.

On July 20th, Johnston County deputies said Ralph Edward Barnes Jr. of Chicopee Road, Benson reported his blue 2018 Nissan Altima stolen.  Deputies said Barnes called to report his Nissan stolen at 6:58pm.  His vehicle was involved in a crash at 1:30pm that same day on Matthews Road in the Cleveland community.

Following an investigation by the Highway Patrol and Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, officers found a witness who reportedly identified Barnes as the driver of the car who fled from the scene before a trooper arrived.

On Tuesday, Barnes was charged with filing a false report of a motor vehicle theft.  He was released on a $1,000 bond pending a court appearance on the misdemeanor offense.