Florida Man Arrested for Faking Car Vandalism in Insurance Scam

The man called police and said his SUV's windows were smashed and leather interior slashed at the shop where he'd left it for an oil change.


Ivan Gomez of Florida allegedly caused nearly $25,000 in damage to his own Mercedes-Benz, then claimed it was vandalized at a repair shop where he'd dropped it off for an oil change, in hopes of a hefty insurance payout, police said.

Gomez has been charged with falsifying a police report and criminal mischief, WINK News reported.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to WSP Tires in Tice, FL, following a report of a car burglary by Gomez. However, upon arrival, they discovered a scene that raised suspicions immediately. The Mercedes-Benz had smashed windows and slashed leather seats.

“A suspect is reporting that his car was vandalized, with almost $25,000 worth of damage and the tires, windows broken, it appears like someone had done this, and he wanted to report it to his insurance company,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “As we start to piece it together, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Investigations revealed Gomez owed $45,000 on his car at the time he filed the insurance claim. Detectives then obtained surveillance footage from a neighboring business, capturing Gomez in the act of vandalizing his vehicle.

A witness from the business next door spoke to WINK News, detailing what they saw on the video: “He came in, parked on the side of the property and then got out … and you can hear it in the video: he hit and kept hitting the glass,” the witness said, adding Gomez was slashing the inside of his vehicle as well.

“It’s important to understand that when someone does this, it’s why our insurance rates go up, because when someone makes a false claim, and we have to pay that, overall, we all pay for that in the end,” Marceno added.

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