Wife’s Claim Leads to Husband’s Arrest

February 8, 2008

They say problem gamblers never quit while they’re ahead, and one properly insured Oregon man apparently didn’t, either.

Authorities recovered a stolen antique slot machine worth $4,000 and arrested the 30-year-old, who they said asked his wife to help file an insurance claim to cover damage done to his van during the heist.

The slot machine was reported stolen in a burglary at a home in Sutherlin, 170 miles south of Portland, Douglas County sheriff’s deputies said. Investigators learned that the victim’s housekeeper filed a police report a day earlier claiming someone had thrown a piece of sheet metal through the window of her parked van.

The sheet metal turned out to be from the back of the stolen slot machine, with the serial number attached.

Deputies said the housekeeper’s husband stole the machine, which tipped over as he drove away, breaking the van window. He told his wife the van had been vandalized and asked her to report the damage so insurance would cover it, deputies said.

The husband and a 25-year-old man were charged with burglary and theft, but the wife wasn’t charged.

The case was still being investigated.

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