NEWBURYPORT - A Watertown woman who called police claiming she was the victim of a hit-and-run crash inside The Tannery Marketplace parking lot in May was charged with filing a false crime report last month.
Christine LeBlanc, 52, of Garfield Street, Watertown, was released on personal recognizance after her Friday morning arraignment on the charge at Newburyport District Court. She is due back in court Oct. 8 for a pre-trial hearing.
LeBlanc, according to Newburyport police Officer James Allen, called police on May 15 around 4 p.m. saying the owner of a blue Dodge Caravan had smacked the front of her Mercedes as it pulled into a parking spot.
"She told me the van was not parked there when she and her boyfriend John arrived at 12:30 p.m. And she had receipts to prove she had been in The Tannery all day," Allen wrote in his report.
Allen checked out both cars and saw damage to the Mercedes' plastic license plate border. The van, however, sustained minor front-end damage consistent with it being hit with a license plate. The Caravan owner told police he had been parked there since 11:30 a.m., well before the Mercedes arrived.
Knowing there were security cameras recording the parking lot, Allen spoke to the Tannery's office manager five days later. The office manager emailed him still frame photos taken of the crash site at the time of the incident. The photos show LeBlanc's Mercedes, driven by her boyfriend, drive into an empty spot and bump the Caravan, according to Allen's report.
"They exited the vehicle and went shopping. When they returned they called the police department and reported a hit-and-run," Allen wrote in his report.
Allen went on to write that LeBlanc's boyfriend would be charged for his role in the incident as well.