Lehigh Valley

Bethlehem police arrest 6 in scams targeting the elderly

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Police have charged six people in a series of scams using Bethlehem addresses to get money from elderly people in other states.

Bethlehem police said they, along with two others arrested last month, have scammed or attempted to scam residents out of about $50,000 in cash.

Yahaira Diaz, 32, of Pottsville; and Vincent Sorrentino, 28, of Johnson, New York, are accused of contacting an elderly man in Arkansas pretending to be his grandson and asking for money for bail.

Police said the victim mailed $5000 to an address on Dakotah Street two separate times. When the callers contacted the man a third time asking for additional money, the victim contacted police.

Four other people were charged in a similar scam. A caller pretending to be his grandson told an elderly man in Texas he was arrested for DUI and needed money for bail, police said.

Bethlehem police arrested the suspects, all from New York, when they came to pick up the money at the Bethlehem address.

Charged in that scam are Reynaldo Garcia-Martinez, 27; Daniel Abreu-Jose; Guillermo Fanjul, 39; and Christian Santana.

The six are charged with criminal conspiracy to commit theft by deception in Northampton County. Additional charges are pending in Arkansas and Texas respectively, and in federal court.

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