A man who crashed his $1.2 million Bugatti Veyron told police that he had dropped his cell phone while driving, looked up, swerved to avoid a pelican and wound up submerged in a Texas lagoon.
They're called owner "give-ups," and their rise is a sign of the tough economic times. Despondent over being financially strapped and unable to cover car payments, vehicle owners are ditching, sinking, or torching their vehicles and reporting the loss to collect insurance payoffs. According to authorities, most of the titleholders aren't seasoned criminals. In fact, many of the false claims are filed by first-time offenders -- people who normally wouldn't steal a piece of candy from a store. How
Vehicle owners behind in their payments and faced with mounting debts have begun taking matches to their cars and trucks in an effort to stop their payments and collect the insurance settlements. Unfortunately, in most cases the attempts backfire (pun intended). According to police, when delinquencies on auto loans rise, owner-involved arson jumps as well. Between 2004 and 2007, "potential owner give-ups" (most of which involve torched vehicles) nearly doubled nationally. Distinguishing between
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