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Man Enters Plea In Buried Motorcycle Case

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BAY CITY (WWJ/AP) – A Michigan man who authorities say buried a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in 2009 and claimed it was stolen to collect insurance money faces sentencing next year in the case.

Chad E. Dejongh of Bay County’s Beaver Township plead no contest earlier this month to two counts of false report of a felony –punishable by up to four years in prison. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a count of false pretenses between $20,000 and $50,000, a 15-year felony. He’s due back in court on Jan. 7 for sentencing.

Authorities say Dejongh reported his Rocker C motorcycle stolen in October 2009. He allegedly told police the bike was last seen in his yard with a “For Sale” sign on it.

The bike was insured through the Cincinnati-based American Family Home Insurance, which sent a check for $8,445.06 to Dejongh and another for $11,832.42 to an area credit union, Mlive.com reported.

Then, in September 2011 police received a tip that Dejongh may have buried the bike on a relative’s property in Midland County. A witness allegedly told police they didn’t come forward with the information earlier because Dejongh threatened to kill them if they told anyone.

Police executed a search warrant on the property the following month, but didn’t find the motorcycle. Investigators did, however, find motorcycle parts in a freshly dug patch of ground where the witness said the motorcycle was buried.

Police say Dejongh initially denied any wrongdoing.

A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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