N.Y. Couple Arrested for Auto Arson Fraud

January 9, 2004

A bulletin, issued by New York State Insurance Department Superintendent Gregory V. Serio, described the arrest of Robert and Mary Smith of the Town of Alden in Erie County, on charges of arson, insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.

According to the NYSID, “On September 21, 2002, Mary Smith took her 2003 Buick to a tavern in Depew and, on the instruction of her husband, left the keys in the vehicle. A short time later she left the tavern and the vehicle was missing and subsequently reported stolen to the Depew Police Department. The vehicle was later recovered in a burnt out condition in Hamburg.

“Upon questioning, Mrs. Smith admitted that her husband had made arrangements with a friend to have the vehicle stolen. Damage to the vehicle was placed at $14,537.50 and the investigation is continuing.”

The couple was arrrested yesterday and face up to seven years imprisonment.

The NYSID’s Frauds Bureau, the Depew Police Department, and Progressive Insurance Company, assisted by the Hamburg Police Department, conducted the investigation.

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