An Eatonville man has pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud after falsely claiming that someone burglarized his car while parked at the Tacoma Mall.
Joseph Thomas Rebic, Jr., 48, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court. He was sentenced to 240 hours community service and $1,300 in fees.
On June 11, 2012, Rebic reported that his car had been burglarized while parked for 45 minutes at the Tacoma Mall. He filed reports with Tacoma mall security and the Tacoma Police Department. He immediately filed two claims with his insurer, State Farm.
The car's rear driver's door window was broken, and there was damage to the trunk liner. Rebic said that the thief had stolen several items, including a $179 GPS device, an $1,189 Canon camera and lenses, and a $1,200 bow and arrows. All told, he said, the stolen valuables were worth about $2,880, and the damage to the car totaled about $350.
The problem: The mall's parking lot video showed none of that. The video shows no one approaching the vehicle or taking items from it after Rebic leaves.
State Farm eventually closed Rebic's claim without payment after he canceled an appointment with a State Farm investigator. They then forwarded the case to our anti-fraud Special Investigations Unit.