LOUDONVILLE – Colonie police responded to a report of a possible scam in progress at residence on Friday, April 21 at approximately 10 a.m. and arrested two Florida residents trying to collect from the victim.
The resident received a phone call from a male suspect pretending to be the resident’s grandson, stating he was in trouble, and needed bail money to be released from jail. A second suspect then got on the telephone, pretending to be the attorney for the grandson, and explained that the grandson needed help, and that they would be sending a courier to the residence to retrieve bail money. The suspects were asking for $19,000 in cash.
The resident immediately identified this as a scam, and contacted the police department. According to police, several officers were able to observe the suspect arrive at the residence and attempt to collect the bail money. The suspect, Zavier Buchanan, 25, was immediately taken into custody. A second suspect, Melissa T. Charles, 25, was located in the area, in a vehicle, and was also taken into custody for her role in the attempted theft.
Both suspects were charged with attempted grand larceny, a felony, and conspiracy, a misdemeanor.
In a statement the Colonie Police Department said it would like to thank the vigilant resident who recognized the scam and immediately involved the agency so it could investigate and make an arrest.
“Had it not been for their alertness, these scammers would have likely continued until they found another victim, and could have stolen thousands of dollars. The Colonie Police Department is fortunate to have such good community engagement, and it is this type of collaboration that leads to successful outcomes, such as in this case,” the statement said.
Both defendants were arraigned in the Colonie Town Court. Buchanan was released to the supervision of Albany County Probation, and Charles was released on her own recognizance.
This is still an active and ongoing investigation. If you know something that might be relevant to this investigation, or if you know someone else who may have been victimized or contacted by these suspects, please contact your local police department, or the Colonie Police investigations Division at 518-783-2754. If you wish to report a tip anonymously, you can call Capital Region Crimestoppers at 1-833-ALB-TIPS, or go to capitalregioncrimestoppers.com.