Couple accused of faking crime - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Couple accused of faking crime

BRUNSWICK, VA (WWBT) - A woman claims she was abducted and robbed while heading to the bank to make a deposit for her job. Turns out, it was staged. Deputies say the woman and her boyfriend cooked-up the plan in order to keep the cash.

29-year-old Melissa Cundiff and her boyfriend 25-year-old Steven Hilton are charged with grand larceny. Police say the charges stem from a botched-up scheme that was caught on tape.

Investigators say, surveillance video shows Cundiff, who's the assistant manager of Davis Travel Center in Brunswick County, heading to the bank to make a large deposit for the company.

Minutes after she gets in her car a masked man, armed with a knife, is seen running out of the woods. He jumps in Cundiff's car. They take off.

Cundiff tells investigators that she was abducted, assaulted, robbed and dumped on Cutbank Church Road.

"She had a shiner on her right cheek where it looked like she'd been hit. Her knees were dirty like she'd been on the ground. The right front tire of her car had been slashed," said Brunswick County Sheriff, Brian Roberts.

During the investigation deputies began to suspect that something wasn't right. They started surveilling Cundiff and Hilton.

Deputies tracked the couple and their spending. Investigators say the pair went on several vacations and shopping sprees. Police say the couple purchased motorcycles and 22 inch customs rims -- they paid cash for it all.

On Wednesday, the pair was arrested.

"He has a bad drug habit. She has some bad financial issues. So the day before they came up with this scheme to fake this abduction and robbery to steal the money," said Roberts.

Deputies say the couple confessed to staging the crime. Cundiff has bonded out of jail. Hilton is being held on $10,000 bond.

Although the couple was arrested on Wednesday the fake abduction happened in May. Cundiff had been an assistant manager at the Davis Travel center for a year.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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