Lawrence Woman Charged With Insurance Fraud After Minor Bus Crash

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV

LAWRENCE (CBS) – The cameras are candid in the city of Lawrence, and apparently caught a woman allegedly trying to cash in on a fake injury.

Police say 69-year-old Dolores Alvarez claimed she suffered a painful back injury when a Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority bus was clipped in the rear by a mini-van that sped off.

It was all caught on surveillance cameras both inside and outside the bus, and police say the footage tells a much different story.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports

Alvarez is seen barely moving when the bus is hit with no sign of her body jerking backward or forward.

“This was the perfect case where there was footage,” said Lawrence police chief John Romero.

She filed an insurance claim, but police say when her lawyer saw the video even he backed off the case and Alvarez was charged with insurance fraud.

“A picture is worth a thousand words, if you will,” said Joseph Costanzo, MRTA administrator.

The case marks a return to auto insurance crackdown, which had become a cottage industry in the city. Since 2003 police have arrested as many as 400 people who allegedly staged accidents and then filed fraudulent insurance claims.

Chief Romero says this case is a newer version of the crime. “We’re going to see accidents that do take place, but people fabricate injuries or exaggerate them to defraud an insurance agency,” said Romero.

Last year budget cuts forced Romero to disband the task force that investigated fraud. Now he wants to be aggressive again to prevent insurance rates from rising, and the cameras are rolling.

Alvarez declined to talk to WBZ-TV.

More from Beth Germano
  • D Caf

    Shame, shame…..everyone knows your name! Dolores Alvarez, you’re a lowlife!

  • Jimi

    Is she in this country legally?
    Just wondering.

    • Andre

      Jimi – Lawrence has been a heavily Latino city since the 1980’s. Shut up.

      • Jimi

        Hey – I said I was just wondering!

        I wonder how man of the latino’s who’ve been there since the ’80s have their papers.

        Again – just wondering, not judging.

    • Michael E. Harvey

      Your racism is showing. Seriously, “just wondering” is the same as “I’m not racist, I swear”

  • Jimi

    sorry *many* and no apostrophe in “latinos” – it’s late.

  • brian

    these immigrants sure know how to play the system with their mass health benefits,welfare,foods stamps and now insurance fraud cases.

  • HooDatIS?

    granny got busted booooooooooo whhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooo
    that camera cant tell if granny was hurt or not

  • TN

    So welfare, section 8, food stamp is not enough now she’s trying to fraud insurance? I bet that van driver is related to her. STUPIDITY just don’t get any better.

  • Enough!

    If someone is in this beatiful country illeaglly, breaking the law and scaming the system, I think that is wrong………………….. not racism! Racism is a problem in this country so lets not over use the term until it becomes the new phrase for “the boy that cried wolf”

    • Jimi

      Yeah but assuming someone with a hispanic last name is an immigrant, legal or illegal, is at least prejudice if not racist.

      I was just trying to be provocative in my above comment.
      I really am not racist – I swear!

      ; )

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