On March 6, 2023, a Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy responded to the residence of Robert Sanford, age 47 and who lives on Willie Youngblood Road. Sanford reported that his pickup truck had been stolen from his residence along with tools valued at approximately $1,000.
The truck, which had been partially burned, was located March 7, 2023 by a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant near the intersection of Benny King Road and Wilbur Smith Road. The truck was removed by wrecker and stored for investigative purposes.
Washington Parish Detective Hunter Creel, whose career experience involves working as an investigator for the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, examined the partially burned truck and concluded the fire was intentionally set. His investigation revealed that Sanford, the owner of the truck, had removed the truck from his residence and attempted to burn it in order to file an insurance claim. Sanford was arrested on Wednesday (March 29, 2023 and transported to the Washington Parish Jail where he was booked on charges of insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and injuring public records. His bond was set at $6,000. He met the conditions of his bond the following day and was released awaiting trial.
“Anyone makes a mistake when they underestimate the professionalism of our officers,” stated Randy Seal. “We have detectives trained in every aspect of forensic investigations. They use scientific methods and are thorough in their pursuit of criminals. Detective Creel is an excellent example of the type officers we have. I would put our detective division, or our patrol division, up against any other agency at any time. They are good!”
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