The NYPD is partnering with the Seal Beach Police Department in a joint investigation to track down a man who is suspected of scamming an 86-year-old widow in Seal Beach, California out of $30,000. [embedgallery id="148476"]
On February 18, 2013, the suspect called the elderly victim claiming to be her grandson "Randy." The caller told her that he was in a Mexican jail and needed money in order to be released.
Cops said the caller, pretending to be the victim's grandson, asked her to send $15,000 in cash to an address in New York City, addressed to Matthew Jones.
The victim sent the cash the next day. The following day, she received another call from the same person asking for an additional $15,000 addressed to Matthew Jones at the same address. The grandmother, afraid for her grandson's safety, sent the money that day, cops said.
The address was later identified as a FedEx business office in a Sheraton Hotel downtown. Cops say the suspect used a fake Canadian driver's license to pick up the packages from the FedEx.
The suspect, as seen in photos provided by the Seal Beach Police Department and the NYPD, is described as a white man, medium to heavy build, who looks to be in his mid to late 30s. In surveillance photos and the photo on the fake driver's license, he appears to have a very distinctive goatee braided into two plaits, known as a "sparrow" style beard, cops said.
Anyone with information about the man pictured in the surveillance photos from the FedEx is asked to call or e-mail Seal Beach Police Detective Mary Martinez at 562-799-4100 extension 1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat