ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Three people are charged with grand larceny and conspiracy after scamming a Throop elderly couple out of $24,000, New York State Police announced Friday.
On February 8, the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported larceny complaint in the Town of Throop. They say it was reported that an elderly couple had been contacted by telephone claiming to be their grandson. The person calling told them he was in jail and need money to make bail after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
The elderly couple, according to the New York State Police, believing they were helping their grandson, went to the bank and withdrew $9,500 in cash.
New York State Police say the perpetrators sent a courier via Uber Package to pick up the money, which they had ordered to place in a box, and be delivered to them at a location in Syracuse.
After one successful attempt, the perpetrators were able to repeat this two more times with the same couple, totaling a theft of over $24,000 cash.
The next day, on February 9, the suspects called the couple again and demanded more money. Members of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, and the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force worked together to surveil the exchange in Syracuse and catch the offenders.
Three suspects were taken into custody in East Syracuse, and after interviews, were transported to the Cayuga County Sherriff’s Office. The three defendants were not eligible for bail to be set and were released on their own recognizance.
The following were arrested and charged with grand larceny in the third degree and conspiracy in the fifth degree:
- Joel F. Mathilda, Bronx, New York
- Jose Arony Fermin Vasquez, Newark, New Jersey
- Davide Invidia Arias, Orlando, Florida
The New York State Police adds that $20,000 was recovered after a subsequent search of an Airbnb located in Syracuse, and additional US money was found on the suspects, recovering a total of $25,000 in stolen money.
The investigation also found that the couriers used in this scheme were not involved and were working as Uber drivers, according to New York State Police.