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Redwood City truck owner jailed for torching vehicle
April 06, 2013, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report
A Redwood City truck owner who torched his vehicle so the insurance company would pay off the $14,000 loan balance was sentenced Friday to 120 days in jail.

Nery Leonidas Garcia, 27, was reportedly behind on his payments when he set his Dodge Durango on fire in Portola Valley and had his wife call police May 3, 2011 to report it stolen. A sheriff's deputy found the burned truck and concluded the fire was intentionally set.

Garcia was originally charged with arson and insurance fraud but pleaded no contest to theft in return for the set four-month term. On Friday, prosecutors allowed Garcia to withdraw that plea and instead accept a plea deal on insurance fraud which may be based on immigration considerations.

Garcia, who surrenders to the jail July 6, must also spend three years on supervised probation and repay AAA Insurance $17,652.99.

Garcia has three days credit. He had been free on a $50,000 bail bond but was taken back into custody on a $75,000 bench warrant after failing to appear at an earlier court hearing.

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