Yucaipa couple arrested for insurance scam after posting crash videos to YouTube

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Friday, March 24, 2023
Yucaipa couple arrested in insurance scam after posting crash videos
A Yucaipa couple allegedly posted dozens of videos showing them intentionally causing crashes as part of an elaborate insurance scam, investigators say.

YUCAIPA, Calif. (KABC) -- Investigators didn't have to look far to find evidence allegedly showing a Yucaipa couple intentionally causing dozens of car crashes to fraudulently collect insurance money.

The couple posted their own videos of the incidents on YouTube.

Now Christopher and Kimberly Phelps face a slew of charges, including insurance fraud and assault with a deadly weapon.

They are also facing multiple counts of child endangerment since investigators say some of the videos show Christopher Phelps' child in the car at the time of the crashes.

The investigation began when San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies found a YouTube channel showing multiple dashcam videos of traffic collisions and road-rage incidents. While the channel was published under an alias, they were eventually able to link it to Christopher Phelps.

The channel posted 162 dashcam videos of crashes, near-crashes and road-rage incidents, according to the California Department of Insurance.

State Insurance investigators say they were able to link 23 collisions to 17 insurance claims filed by Christopher Phelps.

In February, sheriff's deputies contacted the state Department of Insurance after they say Christopher Phelps was involved in a crash deemed to be suspicious, in which he apparently stopped for no reason and caused a truck pulling a trailer to rear-end his own car.

He posted video of the moments leading up to the crash a short time later. Detectives were able to respond to the area where the crash happened and look for video and witnesses.

They arrested Phelps at the time and he was charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon and one felony of causing a crash to present a false claim.

He posted bail.

Then this week, detectives arrested both Christopher and Kimberly Phelps in connection with the multiple incidents depicted on YouTube. Both are being held on $500,000 bail.

Investigators are looking for anyone else who may have been a witness or victim in incidents involving the two. Anyone with information can contact Detective Matthew Carter at (909) 919-2215 or matthew.carter@insurance.ca.gov.