Recently, what started as a simple accident claim resulted in a car thief helping to get himself get captured.
This case starts when our policyholder reported that he was a passenger in a car that he claimed was, “owned by a friend’s girlfriend.” In his claim, the policyholder stated that his friend, “Nick,” was driving at a high rate of speed causing him to lose control of the vehicle and strike a tree. Our policyholder was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted by emergency personnel. “Nick” fled the scene and left the policyholder injured and alone in the vehicle.
During the investigation and interview, our policyholder advised that he contacted “Nick” for a ride because his own car was in the shop. However, the policyholder didn’t know “Nick’s” last name, address, or phone number and he couldn’t explain how he contacted him.
Our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigator contacted the owner of the involved car. She advised that her vehicle was missing, but she had not yet reported it as being stolen. She stated that she did not know who had or was driving her vehicle and that she did not loan her vehicle to anyone. More importantly, she stated that she did not have a boyfriend and didn’t know anyone named “Nick.”
The EMS personnel from the accident were contacted and stated that upon their arrival, they observed an injured driver who had to be extracted from the vehicle, due to the condition of the car. There were no passengers. Bystanders also confirmed that no passengers were witnessed.
The police report for this accident also indicated that, “The driver was the only person in the vehicle, and had to be extracted by fire department.”
As a result of the investigation, the driver was charged with theft of vehicle and failure to control speed to avoid an accident. Charges are pending.
It’s not often that a car thief wrecks a car then submits a claim on the vehicle that he or she stole. But thanks to the training of Maryland Auto Claims and SIU associates we were able to identify suspicious loss indicators, complete the investigation, and confirm the facts of the accident, bringing the true story to light.