Owner of car buried at Atherton estate reported it stolen, collected $87,000 in insurance: DA

Atherton police continue to investigate the discovery of a vehicle found buried in the yard of a home in the 300 block of Stockbridge Avenue in Atherton, Calif., Friday, Oct. 21, 2022.

Atherton police continue to investigate the discovery of a vehicle found buried in the yard of a home in the 300 block of Stockbridge Avenue in Atherton, Calif., Friday, Oct. 21, 2022.

A man linked to one of San Joaquin County’s largest-ever insurance fraud schemes reported a Mercedes-Benz found buried at his former home stolen in 1992 and collected tens of thousands of dollars in insurance on the vehicle, according to San Mateo County authorities.

Johnny Bocktune Lew, who built the $15 million Atherton mansion where the car was unearthed last week, reported the Mercedes-Benz stolen in 1992 and collected $87,000 in insurance on the vehicle, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told the San Jose Mercury News.

“This book has 15 chapters in it and we’ve only got two chapters,” Wagstaffe told the newspaper. “I don’t know if we’re ever going to get the other chapters, but I sure hope we do because it is an interesting story.”

Lew died in 2015.

A mansion is under investigation by police after a car was found buried on the property the day before, in Atherton, Calif., Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Three decades after a car was reported stolen in Northern California, police are digging the missing convertible out of the yard of a $15 million mansion built by a man with a history of arrests for murder, attempted murder and <a href=insurance fraud.” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/mj4RqcIVRrenaOtmsXJK6A–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTUyOA–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the-stockton-record/26f85bb47127a8544d84d64bacd8366e”/

A mansion is under investigation by police after a car was found buried on the property the day before, in Atherton, Calif., Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Three decades after a car was reported stolen in Northern California, police are digging the missing convertible out of the yard of a $15 million mansion built by a man with a history of arrests for murder, attempted murder and insurance fraud.

The convertible Mercedes-Benz filled with bags of unused concrete was discovered last week by landscapers in the affluent town of Atherton in Silicon Valley.

Cadaver dogs brought to the scene made “slight” notifications of possible human remains on three separate occasions, police said in a statement.

The car was removed from the home by a tow truck and transported Saturday to the San Mateo

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Bay Area first responders gear up for potential 4th of July fires

Law enforcement and firefighters across the Bay Area are gearing up for what can often be their busiest day of the year, the fourth of July.

While most people are focused on celebrating, they are focused on keeping us safe, and that takes a lot of people power, so many agencies are calling in reinforcements.

Even though the Bay Area has had a dose of drizzle, cloud cover, and lower temperatures, fire danger remains high.

“This 4th of July is as dry as any 4th of July we’ve ever had, if not dryer,” said Capt. Jordan Motta with Cal Fire in San Mateo.

For that reason, Cal Fire and other agencies are stepping up staffing.

ALSO: ‘It’s not worth it:’ Santa Clara County campaign discourages using illegal fireworks

In San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties where fireworks are illegal, personnel will be reassigned temporarily to help catch those breaking the law.

“We’re going to have our law enforcement scattered throughout San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, as opposed to working in their regular work locations,” said Motta. “They’re going to be on patrol ready and vigilantly monitoring illegal fireworks use.”

A similar circumstance is happening in Oakland, where prolific displays of illegal fireworks routinely take to the night sky pre- and post-holiday. The city is closing a portion of Grizzly Peak Boulevard to deter people from heading to the hills, and is taking additional measures for safety.

“We’re going to increase the number of companies that we are up

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