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SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Juan Camilo Vargas, 62, of Escondido, was arrested for multiple felony insurance fraud crimes and for reporting a fake vehicle theft after allegedly misrepresenting when and where his vehicle was stolen in order to receive an undeserved insurance payment.

On September 8, 2019, Vargas reported to the Escondido Police Department and his insurance company that his 1997 Toyota RAV4 was stolen while it was parked in front of his Escondido home. Vargas said he parked the vehicle the night before and discovered it was missing the next morning. His insurance company wrote him a check for $ 4,165 for hisclaim.

An investigation by the San Diego County Regional Automobile Theft Task Force, which includes the California Department of Insurance, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol, revealed that the vehicle of Vargas crossed the border from the US to Mexico on August 25, 2019. The US Border Patrol provided a photo of the vehicle crossing the border and the driver appeared to be Vargas. Records from US Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Vargas drove another vehicle that was registered in his name back to the US from Mexico later that day.

In an interview with a detective from the Insurance Department, Vargas confirmed that the vehicle was actually stolen in Mexico, not in Escondido as he had previously reported to the police and his insurance company. Vargas said he fraudulently reported that the robbery occurred in Escondido because he did not believe he had insurance coverage in Mexico. The investigation confirmed that his insurance policy did not cover the vehicle while he was in Mexico.

Vargas was arrested by the task force on November 3, 2020, and transported to the Vista Detention Center. Bail was set at $ 25,000 and Vargas was released on bond. The San Diego District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.

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