The District Attorney’s Office has charged 49-year-old Luis Colon with Arson, Criminal Conspiracy, Attempted Theft by Deception, Insurance Fraud, REAP, and False Reports for his involvement in a 2012 fraudulent insurance claim.
Detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit (IFU) began to investigate Colon after arresting defendant Jaime Willis for attempting to defraud Safe Auto Insurance of over four thousand dollars by filing an allegedly fraudulent vehicle theft claim. On the night of April 10, 2012, police officers and firefighters responded to a report that a car was on fire. When they arrived at the 100 block of West Ashdale Street they found a 2001 Saab fully ablaze. Officers determined by the VIN number that the vehicle belonged to Jaime Willis. The following morning, Willis called Philadelphia Police and reported that she had woken up and discovered that her 2001 Saab was missing. After calling police, Willis also notified Safe Auto and informed them that her vehicle had been stolen and recovered with fire damage.
As investigators looked into the incident, they examined surveillance footage from commercial buildings across from West Ashdale Street. The footage showed an unidentified male park Willis’ Saab across the street at about 10:30 at night, remove items from the trunk of the Saab and then leave the scene. About an hour later, the male is seen throwing something into the Saab and then fleeing. The car ignites and ten minutes later police and firefighters arrive on the scene.
Following Willis’ arrest, IFU detectives were able to identify Willis’ uncle, Luis Colon, as the person who allegedly helped her dispose of her Saab. Evidence gathered by the detectives established that Willis allegedly gave Colon the keys to her car, which he used to move it to West Ashdale Street. Once the car was at that location, Colon and another male allegedly set the car on fire. Colon allegedly returned the keys to Willis the next day after burning the car.
IFU detectives obtained Willis’ cell phone records that showed four phone calls took place between Colon and Willis on April 10 and April 11. No other phone calls took place between the two between April 1 and April 15, which suggested that they did not maintain routine contact. In addition, the investigation revealed that Willis allegedly agreed to pay Colon two to three hundred dollars, after she received her settlement, for his help in getting rid of her vehicle.
IFU detectives arrested Colon on March 21, 2013 and he is scheduled to appear in Philadelphia Municipal Court on March 26, 2013 for a status listing in connection with the charges. ADA Michael Kershaw and Detective Donald Murtha of the IFU are specially assigned to this case.