21-year-old from Catania arrested for fake marshal scam in Gioiosa Marea

The carabinieri of the operational and mobile unit of the Patti company arrested a 21-year-old young man from Catania for aggravated fraud. The measure stems from the report of a woman who reported receiving a call from a stranger pretending to be a marshal from the Gioiosa Marea carabinieri station. The man informed her that her sister, who lives abroad, had hit a pedestrian and money was needed to compensate the victim. The woman, suspicious, contacted the carabinieri who, also viewing the surveillance cameras in the area, were able to track down the author of the scam and arrested him. The twenty-one-year-old is known to the police. The order for house arrest was issued by the judge for preliminary investigations of the Patti court, Eugenio Aliquò, at the request of the local public prosecutor’s office, directed by Angelo Vittorio Cavallo.

The scam dates back to May 14th. In the late morning, a phone call to the woman from Gioiosa Marea, from an unknown number. The fake marshal initially asked her if she had relatives abroad. After acquiring the necessary information, he brought up the hit-and-run story, instructing the interlocutor to go to the center of Gioiosa Marea and not to go to the police station. The phone call lasted over an hour. However, when the conversation ended, the woman went to the carabinieri station, who told her they had never contacted her and that the phone call could be an attempted scam. The woman immediately returned home, where she had left her elderly mother alone, who had also answered a call from the fake marshal, who had announced the arrival of a court consultant, which had actually happened a few minutes later. The fake court consultant had informed the elderly woman that her daughter, living abroad, had hit a pedestrian and that, as compensation for the victim, she would have to hand over 300 euros and gold items. Before doing so, the woman asked to contact her daughter, but without success, as she was told that the woman was busy on the phone with the carabinieri of Gioiosa Marea to resolve the issue. So the elderly woman convinced herself to hand over gold jewelry and 100 euros in cash, for a total value of about 7,000 euros. Before leaving, the man asked the elderly woman for information about any bank accounts. The woman replied that she had no funds available.

After the theft was carried out, the carabinieri of Gioiosa Marea took action, acquiring recordings from cameras in the area, thus identifying a young man whose features matched the detailed description provided by the victim of the crime, as well as tracing the car he was using. Further investigations, also of a technical nature, allowed the carabinieri of the Gioiosa Marea station and the operational and mobile unit of the Patti company to ascertain that the car had been rented by a man living in the province of Catania. Additional investigations, including technical ones, allowed them to track his movements, discovering that he was moving precisely in the area of the scam. At that point, the military identified him without a doubt as the author of the theft, through recognition by people who had seen him during stages compatible with the criminal action.

Yesterday afternoon, the suspect was located in Catania, where he was already subject to the precautionary measure of mandatory presentation to the judicial police, as he was already under investigation for similar crimes. The carabinieri also searched his house, finding and seizing two cell phones, believed to be useful for further investigations, and the clothes worn at the time of the scam.

Gioiosa Marea, la truffa del finto maresciallo: arrestato ventunenne di Catania

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