ONTARIO POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT
Ontario Police Department (Photo Courtesy: socalcops.org)
Ontario – The Ontario Police Department is warning its residents, in particular its elderly residents, about a scam that has surfaced recently. A total of six arrests have been made during this investigation, along with the recovery of thousands of dollars provided by at least four elderly victims, who reside in two different states.
Detectives have investigated several cases in which elderly victims were contacted via telephone by a suspect pretending to be the victim’s grandson. The caller (suspect) has personal information about the victim to include the victim’s location of residence, birth date and full identifying information about the grandchild they are impersonating.
In an incident that occurred on Jan. 30, the suspect, claiming to be the victim’s grandchild, telephoned the victim to say he had been arrested and was being held in a California jail. The suspect franticly pleads with the victim to send a large amount of money (in cash) to a residence in Ontario, California.
The victim (a 92-year-old Amarillo, Texas resident) spoke with a second subject who claimed to be, but is actually impersonating, a law enforcement officer. That suspect directs the victim to deliver a large amount of money to a specific location in the City of Ontario, California. The victim, sensing something was wrong with the request, alerted local law enforcement and sent an empty package to the requested drop point in Ontario.
Ontario Police Detectives were made aware of the pending money pick up and during their investigation contacted a male and female who were discovered waiting where the money was to be delivered. The suspects were arrested after being found in possession of the package sent from Amarillo, Texas.
During further investigation, Detectives discovered three other victims who were scammed in a similar manner. One elderly victim sent a number of packages totaling $210,000 in cash from her Nebraska home to several destinations in the Inland Empire area (California). Unfortunately, only a small portion of that money was intercepted, causing that victim to suffer a substantial loss.
Two other elderly victims (for a total of four victims), who also reside in Texas and Nebraska, were scammed in a similar manner as well. These victims sent nearly $15,000 in cash to various locations in the Inland Empire area (California). Luckily, this money was intercepted and returned to the victims.
The two subjects arrested in Ontario have been identified as Desiree Marie Delgado, 19, of Fontana, and James Michael Colangelo, 19, of Fontana.
During further investigation, searches were conducted in the cities of Bloomington, Fontana and Rialto. This follow-up resulted in four additional arrests, along with the recovery of further evidence linking all six arrestees to the scam.
The additional arrestees are identified as Jose Fernando Garcia, 45, of Bloomington, Juan Martinez Lopez, 41, of Rialto, Walter Alexander Ayala, 29, of Fontana, and Mikaela Marie Bosch, 19, of Fontana.
All arrestees were booked into the West Valley Detention Center (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 controlled substance (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 (grandchild) 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 c