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Ex-NJ Cop Admits Torching Car For Insurance Money

Generic Fire File Photo

(Credit: AP)

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EAST ORANGE, N.J. (AP) — A former East Orange police officer has admitted setting fire to his personal vehicle last year to defraud his auto insurance company.

Kareem Spence faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to insurance fraud as part of a plea deal with Essex County prosecutors. In return, they dismissed charges of aggravated arson and attempted theft by deception.

The 35-year-old South Plainfield resident had been with the force for about three years before being indicted in March. He was then suspended from his post and recently resigned from the department Spence’s 2002 Cadillac De Ville was destroyed by fire in Irvington in May 2009. Investigators allegedly found gasoline-soaked towels in the trunk.

Spence burned the vehicle, on which he owed $8,000, because it had 122,000 miles and repeatedly overheated.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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