Man accused of $35,000 fraud

Ryan Carter

HILLSIDE DISTRICT -- State insurance fraud investigators have arrested

a 41-year-old Burbank man on suspicion of insurance fraud and filing a

false police report.

Steve Vlaszof, a Burbank auto body mechanic, allegedly reported

$35,000 worth of items stolen from his home in the 500 block of Eton

Drive, said Daniel Deglauve, criminal investigator in the California

Department of Insurance's Fraud Division.

In 1999, Vlaszof reported that items including expensive jewelry,

camera equipment and computer hardware had been stolen from his home,

said Sgt. Bill Taylor of the Burbank Police Department.

Vlaszof originally filed the claim with State Farm Insurance, Deglauve

said, but there was a delay in reporting the loss to the police.

"That delay raised flags at the insurance company," Deglauve said.

"Their investigation revealed there was some problem in his claim and it

was referred to us. My investigation revealed there was [allegedly] a

fraudulent burglary. He admitted that some items he said were vandalized

were not."

Vlaszof allegedly called the Burbank Police Department to file the

missing items report, Taylor said. Vlaszof told police he had to file the

report because the insurance company wanted him to.

"The victims here are the consumers," Deglauve said. "The insurance

companies have to fight the accumulation of fraud by raising premiums,

which affects all consumers."

Vlaszof was booked at Los Angeles County Jail and later posted bail

and was released.

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