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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

A Shallotte man was charged with filing a false police report Friday after telling Sunset Beach police his car had been stolen.

Stephen Phelps, 36, of Bricklanding Road, told police on Aug. 29 his 2000 Volkswagen Jetta had been stolen from the parking lot at Hardee’s on N.C. 904.

Sunset Beach Deputy Chief Steve Smith said Phelps also told police the vehicle had a LoJack tracking system but it had been de-activated because he hadn’t paid his bill. Because of the alleged theft, the system was reactivated and the car was traced to the parking lot at Belk at Myrtle Beach Mall in South Carolina.

With gun drawn, an Horry County, S.C., policeman approached two men with the car. The men later stated they had not stolen the car but rented it from Phelps in exchange for cash.

The incident was reported at 12:55 p.m. Phelps was charged at 4 p.m.

Sunset Beach police also investigated a purse theft reported Aug. 25 after someone broke into a home on 39th Street. The purse later was recovered in the Cherry Grove Beach, S.C., area with cash and jewelry missing.

A case of identity theft was reported Aug. 5. A Sunset Beach resident said someone opened an unauthorized credit-card account using the victim’s name and charged $225.18 on the account.