Image via Instagram Escondido Police.

A man whose SUV was stolen in Mexico was arrested this week on suspicion of insurance fraud and making a false police report for allegedly claiming the vehicle was stolen in front of his Escondido home in order to receive an insurance payout, the California Department of Insurance announced Friday.

Juan Camilo Vargas, 62, allegedly told Escondido police and his insurance company that his 1997 Toyota RAV4 was stolen in front of his home last September. The Department of Insurance said he was given a $4,165 check for his claim.

However, an investigation into his auto theft case revealed that Vargas drove the SUV across the U.S.-Mexico border a few weeks prior to the date he claimed it was stolen.

He then drove back into the U.S. in another vehicle, said the Department of Insurance.

He allegedly later told investigators that because his insurance policy did not cover the vehicle while it was n Mexico, he falsely reported where the crime occurred.

Vargas was arrested Nov. 3, and later released on $25,000 bail.

— City News Service

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