Leandre Garner drove to a Yelm insurance office Nov. 9, 2012, in his then-girlfriend’s car, a day after taking out a policy on his 2007 Chrysler 300.
When he got back to his University Place apartment that night, he reported that his car had been hit, causing $4,339 in damage.
What appeared to be fortuitous timing instead was a poorly executed insurance fraud attempt, to which Garner, 30, pleaded guilty last week in Pierce County Superior Court.
For filing a false insurance claim and attempted second-degree theft, Garner received two years of probation and credit for 51 days served in jail, and he must pay $700 in court costs.
The ex-girlfriend, her neighbor, an apartment complex front office employee, a maintenance worker there and two auto body shop owners each told an insurance investigator that Garner’s car had been damaged before the start of November.
When the insurance investigator met with Garner on Nov. 16, Garner presented cellphone photos of the damaged car that he said were from Nov. 9.
When the investigator looked at the photos’ information, he saw they dated from September and October.
Garner said his cellphone was not working properly, so the investigator used the phone to take a photo of his own foot. When he did that, the photo’s information showed the correct date and time.
Garner moved to California after he and his girlfriend split up, and failed to appear in court after being charged in September 2013. He was on state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s insurance fraud most-wanted list until his February 2016 arrest in California.