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Elderly Ithaca Couple Protected From Scam By Diligent Uber Driver – Troopers Make Two Arrests


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Around 11:30 in the morning on Tuesday, December 12th, State Police in Syracuse received a call from an Uber driver who just picked up a package from an elderly couple’s residence in the City of Ithaca, the Uber driver telling Troopers the package contained a large amount of cash.

The Uber driver told Troopers he believed the money may be part of a scam. The Uber driver then provided details on his intended destination within Onondaga County. The information provided was then immediately relayed to the Troop D Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), as well to members of the Violent Gang & Narcotics Team (VGNET) and Community Stabilization Unit (CSU).

Thirty minutes after the initial call, Troopers were surveilling the Uber driver and the scheduled delivery location. By 12:15pm, the Uber driver delivered the package, which contained $23,000 in cash. State Police then took the recipient of the package into custody for questioning.

A second person was located by Troopers at a nearby motel and through the investigation, it was determined the two were associates of each other and staying in the same motel room. A search of the motel room found additional currency.

State Police Investigators met with the Uber driver who identified the address where the money was originally picked up from in the City of Ithaca. Troopers responded to that residence and learned the elderly residents were victims of a scam. State Police say the elderly couple was led to believe the money was for bail money for their nephew.

The two taken into custody by Troopers, 39 year old Yoelvis Reyes and 45 year old Mario Escalante, both from Hialeah Florida, were charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 3rd, a Felony. Both have already appeared in court and have since been released.

In total, over $34,000 in US currency was recovered.

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