Six under arrest for scamming elderly
Over the past two weeks, Bethlehem detectives have arrested six individuals for scamming and/or attempting to scam elderly victims out of cash totaling thousands of dollars. These individuals are only part of several ongoing investigations that BPD detectives are working on with other law enforcement agencies and federal authorities. With the arrest of two individuals last month and these six new arrests, the total amount of cash scammed and/or attempted to be scammed is approximately $50,000.
On Feb. 20 an elderly victim in Arkansas received a call about his grandson being in an accident and being arrested for DUI. The caller stated the grandson needed $5,000 for bail. The victim mailed the $5,000 to 517 Dakotah St. as directed.
A few days later, the victim received another call claiming the woman his grandson hit was pregnant and the baby died. The caller requested an additional $5,000 because of the seriousness of the new charges. The victim sent the cash to the address again. On Feb. 24, the victim received another call requesting $2,000 for bail. The victim, at this time, contacted the Chicot County sheriff’s office in Arkansas.
Bethlehem detectives, working with Chicot County sheriff detectives and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, set up a drop at the address in Bethlehem. Two suspects were arrested when they came to pick up the package delivered. The Suspects were identified as YAHAIRA DELCARMEN DIAZ age 32, 213 George St. N., Pottsville. and VINCENT ANTH SORRENTINO age 28, 51 J St., Johnson, N.Y.
On March 12, an elderly victim in Texas received a call saying the victim’s grandson was in an accident. The grandson was allegedly arrested for DUI and needed $6,100 for bail. The victim was directed to send the cash by mail to 406 Pawnee St. The elderly victim send the cash to the address in Bethlehem.
A few days later, another $14,000 was requested from the victim. The caller stated that the grandson hit a pregnant female and the baby died. The victim at this time contacted the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department
Bethlehem detectives, working with Tarrant County sheriff detectives, and U.S. Postal Service inspectors, set up a drop at the address in Bethlehem. Four suspects were arrested when they came to pick up the package delivered. The suspects were identified as: REYNALDO J. GARCIA-MARTINEZ age 27, 456 E. 137th St. D, Bronx, N.Y. ; DARIEL ABREU-JOSE, 195 Nagle Ave. 5, New York, N.Y. 10034; GUILLERMO FANJUL age 39, Grand Concourse 3O, Bronx, N.Y. ; and CHRISTIAN P. SANTANA, 111 W. Central Blvd. 89, Palisade Park, N.Y. 07650
All six of these individuals are charged by Detective Sean Molony with criminal conspiracy to commit theft by deception (felony) and committed to Northampton County jail pending court action. Charges are also being filed in Arkansas and Texas. Federal charges are pending.
These scams or frauds prey on elderly citizens in our society. If you are elderly and you receive a call like this or any call requesting cash money, please contact the Bethlehem Police Department.
If your loved one is in trouble somewhere, police can verify that for you. If you are a caregiver or family member taking care of someone elderly, and they receive a call like this, please contact the Bethlehem Police Department. Never send cash in the mail to anyone.
If you need information on scams like these two, or other scams, contact Bethlehem Detective Sean Molony or the Crime Prevention Officer at 610-865-7187. Together, let’s put these predators who prey on our elderly in prison where they belong.