Police: Man tried to swindle ex-officer out of $7K in bail scam

Posted: Updated:
NORTH BELLMORE -

Police say a scammer tried to swindle a 72-year-old retired Nassau officer out of $7,000.

When the phone rang at the retired officer's North Bellmore home, police say alleged scammer Rafael Sanchez, 37, was hoping a confused elderly man would answer.

Police say Sanchez pretended to be the man's grandson, saying he had been arrested after a car accident and needed $7,000 cash for bail.

The retired officer then set up a sting that resulted in Sanchez's arrest. News 12 spoke with the would-be victim, who asked to conceal his identity. He says it was "absolutely" apparent that the caller was not his grandson. He encountered a similar incident about a year ago.

The North Bellmore man told Sanchez he'd meet him in the parking lot of a Stop & Shop supermarket and would be using his walker. Then, he called police. And a 1st Precinct detective, dressed up as an elderly man with a walker, went to meet Sanchez instead. The Stop & Shop meet-up was no coincidence; the Nassau Bureau of Special Operations is located right next door.

The officer recommends simply hanging up when receiving similar calls.

Sanchez was arraigned Thursday on attempted grand larceny and criminal impersonation charges. His bail was set at $10,000.

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