Two people were arrested after allegedly breaking into foreclosed homes and renting them out to unsuspecting tenants, police say.
Randolph Police arrested Ricardo "Rick" Bernard and Katya Magni for charges of breaking and entering, along with five counts of larceny.
RANDOLPH: Ricardo Bernard & Katya Magni are accused of breaking into vacant homes, & renting them out. One victim involved was a man with dementia. The two would allegedly trick victims into this “rental scheme”, & run off with their money. More victims are out there.@boston25 pic.twitter.com/F8g1gxNNWW— Malini Basu (@WFXTMalini) November 9, 2018
Jenna Rice and Derek Herbert own one of the homes that was used in the alleged scam, and said they heard the place was a "disaster."
"There was a bunch of trash dumped in the back and everything," Herbert said. "I heard it was a mess."
Police say the prior owner of the house had early stages of dementia, and the two suspects told the owner and his caretaker that they would "do work on his property."
Detectives say they somehow slipped the deed of the house in the paperwork.
"That's crazy, I had no idea," Rice said. "We bought it from someone who flipped it. To think that this happened here is completely heartbreaking to me, honestly."
The owner was then forced to sign over his property to the suspects, and they later sold it for $130,000.
"That is the lowest level," Rice said. "That is terrible."
In other cases, police say the two broke into vacant homes, and then rented them out to the victims.
"I pray for you," Rice said. "To think that you can do something so vulnerable, is just heartbreaking."
Police say the scam started two years ago, and they say there are more victims out there.
If you were a victim or have any information, you're urged to call Randolph Police.
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