SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Three men were charged with Grand Larceny after stealing over $24,000 from an elderly couple in Cayuga County.
Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported larceny complaint that took place in the Town of Throop on February 8.
It was reported to them that an elderly couple was being contacted by someone through telephone calls, claiming to be their grandson.
“The individual told them that he was in jail and needed money to make bail after being involved in a motor vehicle accident. Unaware that it was a scam, the couple went to the bank and withdrew $9,500.00 cash, believing they were helping their grandson,” said New York State Police.
The men then sent a courier via Uber Package to collect the money.
The money had been placed in a box, and then delivered to a location in Syracuse.
This cycle then repeated two more times, letting the individuals eventually steal over $24,000 cash from the couple.
On February 9, the individuals tried once more to squeeze some money out of the couple. However, this time, members of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police in both E and D Troops and the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force were in on it.
They all worked cohesively to develop a plan to catch the individuals in the act, specifically, during the exchange.
And it worked.
Three suspects were taken into custody in East Syracuse and taken to the North Syracuse Police Barracks.
The suspects, Joel F. Mathilda from the Bronx, Jose Arony Fermin Vasquez from Newark, New Jersey and Davide Invidia Arias from Orlando Florida were interviewed with the use of interpreters provided by the State Police and the FBI. Following the interviews, they were taken to the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office according to NYSP.
The men were charged with:
- Grand Larceny in the third degree
- Conspiracy in the fifth degree
A search for an Airbnb in Syracuse resulted in the recovery of $20,000 cash. With additional money found on the suspects as well, police were able to recover even more money, totaling over $25,000 in stolen money.
The investigation determined that the couriers used in this scheme were not involved but merely working in their capacity as Uber drivers.
The defendants were not eligible for bail to be set, and were released on their own recognizance, following arraignment at the Cayuga County Jail.
There is potential for more victims in this scheme, and anyone with information is encouraged to call 911.