Authorities Investigating House Fire in Hopewell Township, NJ

Hopewell Township authorities are investigating a fire at an unoccupied house.

Hopewell NJ police received a report of a structure fire at a house on Elm Ridge Road. Hopewell police officers and Pennington firefighters then responded to the scene.

When police and firefighters got to the house, they found flames in the kitchen and the living room. The firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the flames.

Several firefighting units assisted with the effort to put out the fire. The other units included crews from Pennington Fire Company, Hopewell Fire Department, Lawrenceville Fire Company, Union Fire Company, and Lawrence Road Fire Company.

The Pennington First Aid Squad also went to the scene to assist in the event of any injuries. Thankfully, there were no reports of injuries to any of the firefighters. However, police did reveal that the house sustained significant damage due to the fire.

Authorities from several departments are actively investigating the incident to determine whether arson was involved in the fire. Among the investigating agencies are the Hopewell Township Police Department, Hopewell Valley Emergency Services, the Mercer County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

For additional information, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Authorities Investigating Unoccupied House Fire in Hopewell Township.”

Major Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Sweep Nets 27 Suspects

The sweep was spearheaded by the Insurance Fraud Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. The section is the largest law enforcement agency in the state with the authority to investigate and prosecute fraud-related crimes.

According to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the 27 suspects committed a number of unrelated offenses.

Many of the suspects are accused of committing extremely common insurance fraud scams. For example, two suspects allegedly conspired to defraud State Farm of $25,000 by burning a car in Bucks County, PA. One of the suspects reported that his 2008 Acura TL had been stolen from a parking lot in Bensalem, PA; however, the other suspect allegedly set fire to the car just a day earlier in Trenton, NJ.

Among the other suspects arrested in the statewide sweep were three individuals accused of forging prescriptions and committing prescription fraud in order to obtain thousands of painkillers.

After announcing the arrests, the Attorney General said that the sweep was necessary to protect Pennsylvania residents against increased insurance costs. The Attorney General also highlighted that insurance fraud results in billions of dollars in annual losses for insurance companies, who then pass these losses on to consumers. The hope is that the arrests will send a strong message to potential criminals that law enforcement is serious about cracking down on insurance fraud.

The agency that conducted the bulk of the investigation, the Insurance Fraud Section, is funded in part by the Fraud Trust Fund. All insurance companies that conduct business in Pennsylvania are required to pay an annual assessment into this fund.

For additional information, check out the InsuranceJournal.com article entitled “27 Arrested in Pennsylvania’s Statewide Insurance Fraud Sweep.”

Trenton Men Charged with Insurance Fraud, Arson in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania police arrested two Trenton NJ men who allegedly planned to commit insurance fraud by burning a car.

The suspects were arrested as part of a major sweep by Pennsylvania authorities. All told, 27 people were arrested and charged with insurance fraud.

According to police, one of the Trenton suspects reported that his 2008 Acura TL had been stolen from the parking lot of the Radisson Hotel in Bensalem, PA. The suspect then reportedly filed a stolen vehicle claim with State Farm for $25,000.

However, just a day earlier, the vehicle had been found by Trenton firefighters after being set on fire. According to a criminal complaint later filed against the suspects, firefighters became suspicious when they noticed that several items – including factory rims, seats, and a radio – had been removed from the car.

A subsequent investigation by police determined that the fire had been intentionally set with gasoline.

The owner of the vehicle told police that he was at the Radisson Hotel in Bensalem PA when the car was stolen. Moreover, the suspect told police that he was waiting at the hotel for his friend, the other suspect in the case. However, cell phone records reportedly indicated that the suspect’s friend was less than one mile from the vehicle just a few minutes after it was set on fire.

The findings of the investigation led the insurance company to deny the suspect’s claim. He responded by suing the company for breach of contract. An arbitration panel eventually agreed with the insurance company and upheld the denial of the suspect’s claim.

Now the two suspects have been arrested and charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception, arson, and conspiracy.

The arrests came on the heels of further investigation by the Insurance Fraud Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office.

For additional information about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “Two Trenton Men Are Charged with Arson, Insurance Fraud in 2010 Car Fire.”

Trenton Police Investigate Possible Arson

Police and other officials in Trenton NJ are investigating a fire that destroyed a vacant house.

According to authorities, firefighters received a call about a blaze at a house on the first block of North Overbook Avenue.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they found the second and third floors of the empty house immersed in flames and filled with smoke.

After about an hour of working to contain the fire, firefighters were finally able to get things under control and put out the blaze.

Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of the fire.

The fire was deemed “suspicious,” prompting investigators to get involved.

Neighbors told investigators that squatters and vagrants had entered the house on numerous occasions during the past year.

One witness said that she called police more than a dozen times to alert them about the intruders. The witness also indicated that the squatters removed a chain-link fence surrounding the house and took the front door off its hinges.

At this time, police are not sure what caused the fire. If it is determined that arson was involved, anyone responsible for the fire could face serious penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, arson is classified as a third degree felony and is punishable by a sentence of 3–5 years in New Jersey State Prison.

For additional information, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Authorities Investigating Suspicious House Fire in Trenton.”