A Santa Ana woman has been charged with running over and killing a pedestrian, driving away from the scene and then filing a false police report and insurance claim stating her damaged car was vandalized while parked.
Belen Sicairos, 23, faces fives felonies (hit-and-run causing death, insurance fraud through a written claim and three of insurance fraud) and a misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime. She could get up to eight years in state prison if convicted, but her arraignment date has not yet been set.
She was driving her 2015 Honda Accord west on First Street in Santa Ana around 2 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2015, when 35-year-old Jorge Luis Lopez-Lobato was struck he was crossing the street, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Sicairos allegedly drove away without stopping to help the fellow Santa Ana resident, who was later pronounced dead at the scene, the OCDA says.
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At 10:36 a.m. that same morning, Sicairos is accused of filing an insurance claim with Alliance United Insurance Co. for vandalism to her vehicle that she claimed happened while it was parked near 17th Street in Santa Ana, prosecutors allege.
As Sicairos would also allegedly claim in a Dec. 2, 2015, report filed with the Santa Ana Police Department, she is said to have stated that she discovered the damage to the driver's side and windshield area of the Accord at around 2:30 a.m., also while it was parked, according to the OCDA.
"During Alliance United's investigation of the insurance claim," prosecutors add, "Sicairos is accused of submitting a notarized Affidavit of Loss claiming vandalism was the reason for the damage to her vehicle."
The criminal investigation of Sicairos began after a witness who saw media coverage of the fatal hit-and-run reported seeing an Accord with similar damage at an auto body shop in Bloomington.