From the NY Times:
“Who would expect that someone will call and claim to be your family member?” said Capt. Stefan Komar, the executive officer of the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, who speaks Polish. “Just the chutzpah of this crime makes it unlikely.”
The 73-year-old woman was not the only victim in the neighborhood. At least four other elderly people gave out money, men and women, losing amounts from $5,000 to $20,000. Each time, the scheme was the same. The only variable was whether the caller introduced himself as a grandson, nephew or some other family member.
“You couldn’t miss him — he had a long fake fur jacket and a hat,” said Joseph Notwicz, a Polish-speaking detective assigned to the case, who made the arrest. According to the police, the suspect, Waldemar Kordecki, 29, turned out to be an illegal immigrant, using a fraudulent green card, Social Security card and credit cards, as well as a fake Maryland driver’s license.
“But he was very cooperative,” Detective Notwicz said. “He even showed us another building where he got the money, so we went inside and I spoke to the Polish lady who was too embarrassed to make a police report earlier.”
While in police custody, Mr. Kordecki received a text message from his accomplice asking him to meet in a bar in Jackson Heights, Queens, the police said.
“There were his pictures in the phone so we knew what he looked like,” said Detective Notwicz, who a short time later arrested Piotr Łakatosz, 29, also an illegal Polish immigrant who the police said was making the phone calls.