INSURANCE fraudsters reported false burglaries to collect $1.6 million of stolen property claims in 18 months, Joondalup detectives allege.
Officers last week charged five people after an extensive operation, with the earliest incident dating back to December, 2015.
Insurance companies allegedly rorted include RAC and Insurance Australia Limited.
Police began investigating the matter in March this year after a suspicious burglary report of $700,000 of goods came from Iluka.
Reports also came from homes in Mindarie and Connolly.
Senior Sergeant Brad Burnett labelled the syndicate as “professional” and “very organised”.
Investigating officer Matt Robinson said the alleged offenders would make a home appear as those it had been burgled.
“The items they reported to police they then claimed against their insurance,” he said.
“When the claim was processed they needed to provide supporting documentation… our evidence identified some to be completely fraudulent and some to be altered.”
Items allegedly claimed as stolen included vintage wine, jewellery and electronic goods.
First Class Constable Robinson explained police began the operation after investigating a burglary on Delgado Parade in Iluka on March 18.
“The basic policing methods were followed and we identified inconsistencies with the report,” he said.
“It was established that it was just not plausible for what was reported.”
He said detectives identified eight incidents of fraud or attempted fraud as well as reports of vehicle theft.
Police laid 25 fraud charges after arresting two men (25 and 35) and a woman (35) from Iluka as well as an Ocean Reef man (24) and a Scarborough man (46).
The woman is due to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court on June 19, while three of the men have already appeared and will reappear on June 7.
The Ocean Reef man is due to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court on August 11.