2001-04-14 / Front Page

Car ‘Rental’ For Crack - False Report Gone Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

By Joan Ward George

A 36 year-old Broad Channel woman was arrested Tuesday night, April 10, for "lending" her automobile to crack dealers for a six-day supply of crack, and for subsequently falsely reporting her vehicle stolen after it was discovered to have been involved in an accident in Jamaica on Monday.

Police officers from the 100th Precinct told The Wave that they knew right away that a report of a stolen vehicle made by the local woman on Monday afternoon, April 9, was "iffy" at best. According to Captain John Miller, she told the investigating officers that she frequently leaves her car parked with the keys in the ignition, and the door unopened overnight in Broad Channel. This statement immediately drew special attention by Captain Miller, Sgt. Davidson and Police Officer Bonilla who were all on the case. A sweep of the neighborhood resulted in the location of the car on a Rockaway street on Tuesday evening.

After questioning the car’s driver at the time of its discovery by police, the description of the owner of the vehicle "described to a t" the woman who reported her car stolen the previous day. According to Captain Miller, faced with the information accumulated in less than 24 hours by local police, the owner of the "stolen" vehicle broke down and confessed the whole story to the police. The story is one that involved a long standing deal between the Broad Channel woman with crack dealers from a Rockaway housing development, who supplied her with drugs in exchange for the use of her vehicle.

Captain Miller explained that this was not an unusual occurrence for the woman now facing charges for false reporting. She admitted to police that she had exchanged the use of her vehicle many times for a pre-determined amount of crack. The crack dealer, according to police, then used the vehicle for "hire", renting it out for as little as $5 a trip for individuals aware of the unique rental car arrangement.

Miller also told The Wave that in this particular case the owner of the vehicle confessed that she dropped her car off on Sunday night in the parking area of a Rockaway housing development, received her crack payment, and proceeded to spend the night at an apartment in the housing development smoking crack with a group of people gathered for the same purpose. As the story unraveled, police learned that she returned to Broad Channel on Monday afternoon, on foot, walking across the bridge, only to find a message from her car insurance company that her vehicle had been involved in an accident on Monday. The license plate confirmed that it was in fact her vehicle that was out on one of its "rental" runs when the accident took place. Within minutes she reported her car stolen to the 100th Precinct.

"She’s been doing this for some time," said Captain Miller. Were the car not involved in the accident, the story of the crack dealing, car rental arrangement may have never been uncovered. The woman involved in the incident, whose name is being withheld by police at this time, has never been arrested before. "This is the fourth case of false reporting that we’ve made arrests on since January 1st.," said Captain Miller. "I don’t want people think that we only investigate what looks to be a false report. We take every crime seriously and a complete investigation is given to each report that comes into the precinct. If it turns out to be a false report, it is going to come to light, and we will prosecute those individuals involved."

When asked what Miller thought the punishment would be for the Broad Channel woman, he said that would be up to the judge. However, he personally hoped that she would be sent for drug treatment. She admitted to police that she has been using for 15 years. There were no drug charges filed against her or the crack dealer. The accident that her car was involved in resulted in minor property damage and will remain an insurance issue.

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