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Sheriff: Man claimed he was carjacked after crashing into two houses

James R. Hilliard, 28, of Wildwood

A drunk driver was arrested after he told Lake County Sheriff’s deputies he was carjacked early Tuesday morning. It turned out he actually crashed into two houses.

James R. Hilliard, 28, of the 18000 block of Orchard Lane in Wildwood, was charged with criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct – false report of an offense, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence of alcohol, unlawful possession of cannabis, illegal transportation of alcohol and numerous other traffic offenses.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were called around 1 a.m. on Tuesday to a home in the 33000 block of North Evergreen Drive in Gages Lake for a suspicious vehicle. A resident in the area reported a vehicle in the backyard of their home and a man walking nearby, Lake County Sheriff Sgt. Christopher Covelli said.

Photo provided by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Police found an unoccupied white Ford F-350 that had struck two homes near Evergreen Drive and West Timber Lane, Covelli said.

As police were searching for the driver of the vehicle, they received a 911 call from Hilliard who said that his Ford F-350 had been carjacked from him at a nearby bar.

Photo provided by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities discovered that Hilliard was actually the driver of the white Ford F-350 when it struck the homes and that he was not actually carjacked. He was arrested and transported to the Lake County Jail.

Hilliard is currently free on bail and is scheduled to appear in court next on September 18.


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