NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say two women dressed as officers carrying fake badges stole thousands of dollars from an elderly woman and her grandson.
Gloria Santos, 78, was alone in her Washington Heights home on Aug. 17 around 7:30 p.m. when she said the women knocked on her door and asked for her grandson by name.
“They say ‘I’m police and I’m looking for Christopher Hungria,’ and I go, ‘He’s not here,'” Santos told CBS2’s Ali Bauman in an exclusive interview.
They were asking for her 19-year-old grandson who lives with her and keeps his cash savings of $10,000 in a lock box in his snake tank.
“They reached in and took it to the bathroom,” Hungria said.
Santos said once the women walked in, they split up.
She didn’t realize they opened her grandson’s lock box until after they left.
“Everything was taken, not even a dollar left and then I see a fake aluminum badge that says ‘NYPD 123,'” Hungria said. “Nobody knows I have my money there, maybe like two or three people. I don’t know if it was a fake friend who told other people, ‘Listen this guy has money here.'”
Santos said she was so shaken up after realizing she had been tricked that when the real investigators came she was nervous to let them in.
Santos is desperate for investigators to track down the suspects and find her grandson’s savings.
“What’s wrong with me?’ I say. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I feel nervous,” she said.
Hungria told Bauman he isn’t angry with his grandmother, but he was saving up for a car and now has to start again from scratch.
Police released surveillance video of the suspects who were seen walking on a street in white T-shirts and jeans. Police describe the women as about 18-25 years old.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.