Crime & Public Safety

Man accused of stealing his own van

A Chicago man was briefly detained in Bluffton last week after a woman to whom he refused to give a ride reported his van stolen.

The 52-year-old man was staying in a hotel April 2 when a woman came to his room because she was fighting with her boyfriend, a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report said. The man said he was then kicked out of the hotel because the heavily intoxicated woman was being too loud.

In the parking lot, the woman asked for a ride to Georgia and threatened to report the man's van stolen if he did not comply. The man refused and drove away, the report said.

The next day, as he was traveling on U.S. 278 near Burnt Church Road, he was pulled over by deputies and made to step out of the van and kneel on the ground with his hands in the air. While one deputy trained his gun on the man, another checked inside the van for his registration. The registration confirmed it belonged to the driver.

When deputies apologized for detaining him, the man said he knew it would happen and told them about the incident the previous night.

Deputies searched the hotel but were unable to find the woman, the report said.