Receive alerts from your local agencies
...or text your ZIP CODE to 888777 for mobile alerts

Full Notification

Ontario Police Department, California
Friday February 7th, 2014 :: 08:18 a.m. PST

Advisory

ONTARIO POLICE WARN RESIDENTS ABOUT SCAM TARGETING ELDERLY

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 January 30, 2014, 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 is wrong with the request, alerts local law enforcement and sends 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 contact a male and female who are 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 $210,000.00 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 4 victims), who also reside in Texas and Nebraska, were scammed in a similar manner as well. These victims sent nearly $15,000.00 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:
19 year old Desiree Marie Delgado, Fontana resident.
19 year old James Michael Colangelo, Fontana resident.

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:
45 year old Jose Fernando Garcia, Bloomington resident.
41 year old Juan Martinez Lopez, Rialto resident.
29 year old Walter Alexander Ayala, Fontana resident.
19 year old Mikaela Marie Bosch, Fontana resident.

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 contact Ontario Police Detective Craig Pefferle at (909) 395-2754.

Address/Location
Ontario Police Department, California
2500 S Archibald Ave
Ontario, CA 91761

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 909-395-2001

David McBride
Press Information Officer
dmcbride@ontariopolice.org
909-395-2861

Navigate & Discover