The New York Criminal Law Blog

Eight Arrested For Staged Car Accident In Bronx Caught On Tape

Last summer on a street in the Bronx, nine criminal suspects made an attempt at a staged car accident by deliberately slamming their vehicles into one another, but they failed to cause enough damage on the autos to make the accident look real. So what did they do?

They tried again.

According to The New York Times, the group spread themselves out in three cars and made a second attempt at what police described as a criminal take on demolition derby. The suspects purposely backed into each other's cars and later contacted police to have the accident reports recorded. They even sought $39,000 for medical treatment they claimed they needed for their alleged injuries.

This time, however, what they didn't realize was that their choreographed stunt had actually been caught on video.

The New York Daily News reported investigators already suspected the drivers had staged the car accident. "There was very minimal damage and they all claimed injuries," said NYPD's Captain Don Boller, who is part of the division on organized crime investigation. "Whoever's doing this crime really doesn't want to get hurt."

Boller said the videotape captured the three drivers- 33-year-old Carmine Navarra, 28-year-old Julio Rivera, and 21-year-old Hector Cruz, backing into Rivera's car, evaluating the damage, and then crashing their cars into each other second time to add more wreckage to the vehicles. Detectives later found those involved in the accident, including the passengers, were all friends before the crash happened.

Police collected enough evidence to arrest Navarra, Rivera, and Cruz along with their other friends, Dekodar Vacones, 25; Sor Perez, 30; Venecia Reyes, 23; Luis Garcia, 31; and Julie Dilondardo, 25. Each was charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud, and falsifying business records.

Cops are still looking for the ninth suspect, but expect to find and arrest him soon.

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