LUMBERTON — A former Robeson County volunteer firefighter who claimed in December that his truck had been stolen and set on fire is now facing insurance fraud charges for his role in the scheme, according to Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.
Kenneth Neil Price, 52, is also charged with solicitation to commit insurance fraud, felony conspiracy, attempting to obtain property by false pretenses and filing a false police report, Sealey said. He was arrested on Feb. 7.
Price reported on Dec. 27 that his black 2005 Chevrolet pickup was stolen from outside of his Wilton Drive home at about 2:30 a.m. that day.
Price told The Robesonian he awoke to the sound of a car starting and went outside to find his truck missing and two men trying to get into his wife’s car. Price said the men then got into another car and, along with an SUV parked nearby, drove away.
The burnt truck was found about 11 hours later seven miles from Price’s home at the site of a former mine on the 1100 block of Lovette Road. The truck was valued at $13,475.
Two days after the incident, Price and his wife Paula described feeling unsafe at their home.
“I just don’t know how anybody can live with themselves doing something like that … I really hope that they find out who did this,” Paula Price said.
Sealey said more arrests are expected as the investigation continues. It’s unclear who set fire to the truck.
Price, who was a firefighter for 25 years, said he retired from the Pine Terrace Fire Department in 2013.
He was placed at the Robeson County Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond. He is due to appear in Lumberton District Court on March 3.