2 arrested in Springfield over virtual kidnappings
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Police in Springfield have arrested two people for their alleged role in a scheme in which callers would shake down their victims for ransom money under the guise that loved ones had been kidnapped.
In reality, no one had been snatched. Police arrested 32-year-old Jose Carrasquillo and 30-year-old Jennifer Rodriguez at their Huntington Street apartment on charges of extortion by threat of injury. It was not immediately clear if they have attorneys.
Police say virtual kidnappers mainly targeted members of Springfield’s Hispanic community over the past year.
The callers would call the victims’ cellphones, claiming that their son, father or husband was just kidnapped. The suspects would then instruct their victims to wire money through Western Union to a false name for the release of their loved ones.