Joe Kemp, Daily News (New York), March 22, 2011
Eight people who claimed insurance benefits from a car crash last summer in the Bronx were caught on surveillance video staging the wreck, police said.
Investigators already suspected the three drivers set up the accident–which happened at W. 168th St. and Cromwell Ave. in High Bridge about 12:50 a.m. on June 22 – because none of the vehicles had any significant damage, police said.
“There was very minimal damage and they all claimed injuries,” said Capt. Don Boller of the NYPD’s organized crime investigation division. “Whoever’s doing this crime really doesn’t want to get hurt.”
But the schemers didn’t notice a camera at a nearby business that was recording them the whole time.
Carmine Navarra, 33, backed his 1995 Subaru into the front end of 28-year-old Julio Rivera’s 2000 Ford, then Hector Cruz, 21, backed into Rivera, Boller said.
All three drivers then got out of their vehicles to assess the damage – but hopped back in the cars and smacked into each other again to bang their rides up even more, Boller said.
Detectives gathered enough information to put all the men, including their passengers, behind bars.
Cops recently arrested the trio, along with their cohorts – Sor Perez, 30; Dekodar Vacones, 25; Luis Garcia, 31; Venecia Reyes, 23; and Julie Dilondardo, 25.
All of them were charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records.