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Two Charged With False Robbery Report

by ARLnow.com August 2, 2011 at 3:36 pm 2,582 9 Comments

Police have arrested a business owner and his employee and charged them with making up a story about a robbery in order to collect insurance money.

On the morning of Friday, June 10, a woman called police and claimed that two African American men in their 20s had stolen a $20,000 bank deposit from her as she approached the Wachovia bank at S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. According to the crime report at the time, she described one suspect as thin with dark clothing and the other as heavyset with a black shirt and khaki pants.

Numerous police officers responded to the call and searched the area for the suspects. In the end, police say, the story was nothing but a ruse to collect insurance money.

Tomas Benitez, 49, the owner of a small Columbia Pike business called Eagle Communications, was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Grand Larceny. Police say he instructed his employee, 44-year-old Patricia Lopez, to report the robbery so that he could make an insurance claim.

Lopez has been charged with Filing a False Police Report.

  • Lou

    Couple of criminal masterminds right there.

  • John Fontain

    Sadly, having criminals as owners probably won’t hurt their business one bit. See El Pollo Rico as an example.

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      Probably true. Besides, those little cell phone stores seem almost as shady as the “Tu Trabajo es tu Credito!” used car lots where you never see anyone buying a car.

    • Banksy

      What’s the story with El Pollo Rico?

  • Southeast Ben

    $20K coming out of that store = laughable.

    They should be ordered to pay for the Arlington PD hours that were wasted on this and not doing needed services to the community.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Small businesses are the engine that drives this economy.

    • Lee-n-Glebe

      I’m sure that small business tried to drive some economy, just not sure it is the one that is reportable and taxable.

  • Mike “Barcroft Resident”

    And not one comment on the ever-used ‘Black people did it.’

    C’mon guys, if not you then certainly I get suspicious when that line comes up…

    But then again, the way the Sun Gazette reports crime in our area, I can see why you wouldn’t raise an eyebrow…

    Take a look at how that North Arlington real estate rag reports crime -either ‘they’ were Black, Brown or ‘unidentified.’

    What’s entirely funny about ‘unidentified,’ is that when you read the crime summary, it usually goes like this:

    “A man, identified as a resident of the home, struck a lady, also a resident of the home, and left the home in a car registered at the home at the 2600 block of North Whatever Street.”

    We all know what color that husband of that North Arlington home was, but the editors of the Sun Gazette would rather not include that info -why?

    Do I really need to say…

    • Greeter

      Hi – welcome to the discussion!

      What in the world are you talking about?

      TIA, HAND!


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