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Four arrested in Capital Region distract and steal scams

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Four people were arrested following multiple distract and steal scams across the Capital Region. Angie Gonzalez Lopez (33, Van Nuys, California), Yonathan Martinez Castro (25, Queens), Camilo Otalora Bastidas (31, Queens), and Angelo Romero Guadarrama (36, Queens), each were charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree identity theft, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, and fifth-degree conspiracy.

On Tuesday, August 22, around 5:08 p.m., troopers responded to the Amsterdam Market 32 parking lot for reports of a theft. Police say an investigation found Gonzalez Lopez had distracted the victim while in the parking lot, and another suspect stole the victim’s wallet from their car. Police believe the suspects intentionally put thumbtacks under a tire of the victim’s car, then acted as a good samaritan to “help them,” ultimately distracting them while the other suspects completed the theft.

Police say the other two acted as lookouts for the crime. The suspects then proceeded to allegedly make unauthorized purchases on the victim’s credit cards at businesses in the area. All four were found fleeing the area in a car and were stopped on State Route 30 in Amsterdam.

They were then taken into custody and the victim’s property was recovered from the car. All four were processed at Fonda State Police and were taken to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility to await arraignment. All were arraigned in Amsterdam Town Court and released on their own recognizance.

Martinez Castro, Otalora Bastidas, and Romero Guadarrama were returned to the custody of the State Police and transported to SP Clifton Park, where each was arrested for fourth-degree grand larceny and fifth-degree grand larceny.

Earlier, on August 5, around 12:07 p.m., State Police responded to the parking lot of the Clifton Park Bank of America for the report of a theft. State Police say an investigation found one of the suspects distracted the victim while another stole over $1,000 from their car. A third suspect acted as a lookout and drove the getaway vehicle they used, per state police.

All three suspects (Martinez Castro, Otalora Bastidas, and Romero Guadarrama) were arraigned at the Clifton Park Town Court and were remanded to the Saratoga County Correctional Facility in lieu of $25,000 cash or a $50,000 bond. 

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