Desiree Delgado, 19, and James Colangelo, 19, were arrested after a 92-year-old man in Texas was contacted by a caller claiming to be his grandson needing a large amount of cash to bail out of jail.
The Texas man was called on January 30 by someone frantic, claiming to be his grandson. A second person came on the phone claiming to be a law enforcement officer, who told the man to deliver a large amount of cash to an Ontario, California residence.
The Texas man became suspicious and called police. He sent an empty package to the requested drop point. Police arrested Delgado and Colangelo waiting at the drop point.
Investigators found three other victims who were scammed in a similar manner, including one woman who sent a total of $210,000 from Nebraska to the Inland Empire. Four other victims in Nebraska and Texas sent nearly $15,000 in cash. Only some of the cash was recovered.
Police arrested four others, including Bloomington resident Jose Fernando Garcia, 45; Rialto resident Juan Martinez Lopez, 41; Fontana resident Walter Alexander Ayala, 29; and Fontana resident Mikaela Marie Bosch, 19.
All arrestees were booked into the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga for various charges to include grand theft, identity theft, theft from an elder, elder abuse and conspiracy. Colangelo and Bosch were additionally charged with possession of a methamphetamine.
Ontario Police warn residents to be cautious of anyone who calls and asks for money in such an unusual manner. Regardless of who the caller claims to be, it is best to contact someone of authority to independently confirm the caller's identity. Police also recommend contacting a family member of the alleged caller in an attempt to confirm the grandchild's location.
Ontario Police detectives are concerned there may be other victims of this scam. Anyone who has been contacted in a similar manner or feels they have been victimized by this scam is asked to contact Ontario Police Detective Craig Pefferle at (909) 395-2754.