Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police arrest five people for running a phone scam they say targeted the elderly. Many victims were taken for thousands of dollars and even assaulted.
Monique Griego has the latest on the investigation.
Last week, police made the case a priority and within just a few days, they were able to make an arrest.
Police say five people–Christopher Pasco, James Pasco, Michael Fields, Tierra McCoy and Vaneka Powers–confessed to a ruthless scam that robbed the city’s elderly of thousands of dollars. Detectives say the suspects even used violence against the most vulnerable to do so.
“They epitomize the definition of cowardice. It’s troubling that these people have done to our mothers, our fathers, our grandparents–people we hold in high regard,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.
Police say the group used an intricate phone scam to set up thefts around the city, many of which turned into home invasions that targeted victims ranging in age from their 70s to early 90s.
Detectives say one of the female suspects would first call the victim, say they owed a tax payment and if they didn’t pay up, they’d be evicted. Then one of the male suspects would show up, demand the money and if they resisted, they’d assault them.
Investigators say the most recent incident happened Sunday on Foster Avenue in Southeast Baltimore. There, a 93-year-old man was tied up and then robbed of $3,000.
“They have pushed the elderly around. They have slapped them and another incident, they put a towel over someone’s head,” said Sgt. Sarah Connolly.
So far, this group has admitted to being involved in seven of the 10 reported robberies, but police believe there are more victims out there who don’t even realize they’ve been scammed.
Police ask anyone with any information to call police.
Police say on average, each victim was taken for several thousand dollars.
While most of the reported cases have happened within the past few months, police believe this scam may have been going on for years.