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Fatal hit-and-run allegedly leads to false vandalism claim in California

February 16, 2017, Santa Ana, CA — A woman was charged yesterday with fatal hit-and-run and insurance fraud after leaving the victim at the scene and falsely reporting the damage as vandalism to her insurance company and police. Belen Sicairos, 23, Santa Ana, was charged on Feb. 15, 2017, with one felony count of hit-and-run causing death, three felony counts of insurance fraud, one felony count of insurance fraud through a written claim, and one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime. If convicted, Sicairos faces a maximum of eight years in state prison. The defendant was arrested today by Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Investigators, and her arraignment date is to be determined.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2015, Sicairos is accused of driving a 2015 Honda Accord traveling westbound on First Street in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of hitting 35-year-old Jorge Luis Lopez-Lobato as he was crossing the street. Sicairos is accused of driving away from the scene without stopping the vehicle to render aid or assistance to the victim. Witnesses at the scene called 911 and officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) responded to investigate the hit-and-run. Lopez-Lobato was pronounced dead at the scene.

At 10:36 a.m., Sicairos is accused of filing an insurance claim with Alliance United Insurance Company (Alliance United) for vandalism on her vehicle. The defendant is accused of reporting that her vehicle was parked near 17th Street in Santa Ana and that she had found the vehicle with damage to the driver’s side and windshield area at around 2:30 a.m. Sicairos is also accused of filing a police report with SAPD on Dec. 2, 2015, claiming that her vehicle had been vandalized while parked. During Alliance United’s investigation of the insurance claim, Sicairos is accused of submitting a notarized Affidavit of Loss claiming vandalism was the reason for the damage to her vehicle.

After seeing media coverage seeking additional information about the fatal hit-and-run, a witness reported a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle involved was located at an auto body shop in Bloomington.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Eya Garcia of the Auto Insurance Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Source: Orange County District Attorney

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