Police said a woman’s report of being robbed and assaulted Sunday night on St. Simons Island was a fabrication, allegedly concocted in an effort to eliminate her mounting drug debts.

Glynn County Police on Thursday arrested Megan Wheat, 30, charging her with falsely reporting a crime and making false statements, police said. The St. Simons Island woman was taken to the Glynn County Detention Center. Police now say the confrontation actually took place between Wheat and a drug dealer who demanded more money than she could pay.

“Anytime a crime as heinous as this is reported, the police department investigates it thoroughly in order to bring those responsible to justice,” County Police Chief John Powell said. “I am relieved to know this report was a hoax.”

Wheat allegedly told police that a man robbed her and assaulted her after forcing his way into her car at gunpoint at around 8 p.m. Sunday in the Longview Plaza, according to a report. Wheat allegedly told police she had just withdrawn $460 cash from a bank on Demere Road with which to pay her rent.

She allegedly told police the man walked up to her vehicle in the Longview Plaza and asked for directions. She allegedly told police the man then pointed a gun at her and climbed into the back seat, robbing her of the $460 cash. She allegedly said he then forced her to drive to the Georgia Power property off of Demere Road, where he punched her in the face and pulled up her dress. Wheat allegedly told police she kicked the man in the groin several times to fend off an attempted sexual assault, then drove away to a family’s member’s home on St. Simons Island, according to the initial report.

News reports of the crime sparked concern among islanders and the Golden Isles community in general. Police launched a thorough investigation, during which investigators learned that Wheat had made up the robbery and attempted sexual assault as a desperate ploy to deal with her mounting narcotics debt.

Police said Wheat owed a large amount of money to a drug dealer for unpaid narcotics. She brought him $460 as a payment, but the dealer “then punched her in the face because she was not paying the total amount she owed,” police said.

Wheat allegedly reported to police that she was robbed by a man who then attempted to sexually assault her in an effort to avoid paying the remaining narcotics debt, police said.

“This caused a lot of concern, just like any crime does for our citizens and our community, especially because it was a reported attack on a female,” Powell said. “It made a lot of people feel uneasy.”

Police are looking for the drug dealer, who also could be charged with assault for punching Wheat, Powell said. The responding police officer on Sunday detected swelling on Wheat’s eye and bruising on her lip, the initial report said. The man could be charged with dealing in narcotics, although assault charges may proved more difficult, Powell said.

“There is somebody out there that’s dealing narcotics,” Powell said. “With the information that we have, we will try to locate him and certainly try to charge him. The problem Miss Wheat may face, her credibility would be brought into question because she already fabricated one story.”

Police continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Brad Butler at 912-554-7817.

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