Bruce Joshua Carey, 30, was charged Feb. 12 with trying to claim more than $4,500 in damages that his 2015 Jeep Compass sustained in a collision with a deer---a crash that prosecutors say took place after his Progressive Advanced Insurance Co. coverage lapsed.
According to the charges, Carey’s insurance policy lapsed on Dec. 24, 2015, and he reinstated coverage with a reduced deductible on Jan. 14, 2016. The next day, Carey called Progressive to report he had hit a deer along state Route 309 in Drums, according to charges filed by the state Attorney General’s Office.
Carey claimed he called his mother minutes after the crash, and sent Progressive photos of the damage, the charges allege. Carey also got a damage estimate of $4,583, prosecutors said.
But a Progressive investigator checked the phone records and found that Carey had not called his mother around the time he claimed the accident occurred, and the photos Carey provided had metadata showing they had actually been taken on Jan. 1 in Northumberland County, according to the complaint.
Carey subsequently admitted he did not call his mother at the time he claimed he did, and that he had taken the pictures on Jan. 1 at his girlfriend’s house in Northumberland County, the charges say.
Carey told investigators he had the lapse in coverage because of a banking issue and that when he got a letter about the lapse he went online to renew the policy, prosecutors said.
His girlfriend told investigators a deer had hit the passenger side of the Jeep on Jan. 1, 2016, as she and Carey were coming from a New Year’s Day party, according to the charges.
Authorities charged Carey with felony counts of filing a false insurance claim, criminal use of a communication facility and attempted theft.
Magisterial District Judge Rick Cronauer arraigned him on the charges and released Carey on $10,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 27.