Amarillo Police Department said 6 individuals have been arrested in connection with a scam that targeted elderly people in Texas and Nebraska.
According to APD, investigators were notified on January 29, 2014 of a 92-year-old Amarillo resident who was contacted by someone claiming to be her grandson who stated he was arrested and needed her to send money to an address in Ontario Calif. APD said the woman confirmed that her grandson had not been arrested and notified APD.
APD then contacted the Ontario Police Department for assistance in the investigation. APD said an empty package was sent to the address the victim was given and OPD assisted, making two arrests in Ontario Calif. Further investigation from OPD led to the arrest of an additional four individuals.
According to OPD, the further investigation led to three additional victims in Texas and Nebraska who sent the scammers approximately $225,000 in cash to other locations in California. OPD said some of the money has been returned to some of the victims, however other victims lost everything they sent.
OPD identified the suspects as 19-year-old Desiree Marie Delgado, 19-year-old James Michael Colangelo, 19-year-old Mikaela Marie Bosch, 29-year-old Walter Alexander Ayala, 41-year-old Juan Martinez Lopez and 45-year-old Fernando Garcia.
All of the suspects arrested were booked in to the West Valley Detention Center in Calif. for various charges including: grand theft, identity theft, theft from an elder and elder abuse and conspiracy. Colangelo and Bosch are also facing additional charges of possession of a controlled substance.
APD said citizens should verify information before sending money to anyone claiming they are in jail, in a hospital or in trouble in any way.