Arlington, VA

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.

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