‘Gypsy Community’ Woman Arrested For Stealing 84-Year-Old’s Life - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

‘Gypsy Community’ Woman Arrested For Stealing 84-Year-Old’s Life Savings

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Police have arrested Sylvia Ristick for stealing the life savings of an 84-year-old man. Police have arrested Sylvia Ristick for stealing the life savings of an 84-year-old man.
PROSPECT PARK, Pa. -

Police have arrested Sylvia Ristick for stealing the life savings of an 84-year-old man. They say he effectively put his home into foreclosure. According to investigators, this type of scam is commonly perpetrated by organized members of the self-proclaimed "Gypsy Community," which the suspect is a member.

Ristick is a 45-year old Prospect Park resident. Since 2006, the elderly victim, who believed he was in a romantic relationship, was financially exploited by Ristick who stole a total of $44,356.87.

Officials say Ristick claimed she was sick with a serious medical condition, namely colon cancer, and was in need of money for treatment. Detectives found no records for such treatments. Over the years she made multiple unauthorized purchases using his credit cards to purchase jewelry, furniture, electronics and other expenses.

"We consider crimes against seniors especially heinous because they are our more vulnerable residents and we prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes to the fullest extent of the law," said District Attorney Jack Whelan. "We created the Exploitation Unit to solely investigate crimes against seniors and we will continue to prosecute those who cheat abuse or deceive our older residents."

Ristick was arrested back in 2012 in Whitpain Township, PA, for committing a similar "Sweetheart Swindle" scam against a senior citizen, at the same time she was scamming the most recent victim.

CID Detective Anthony Ruggieri was the lead investigator in this case. ADA Erica Parham, Chief of the Senior Exploitation Unit, will be prosecuting the case.

Ristick's bail was set at $50,000. She is expected to be in court April 3 for a preliminary hearing.

If you suspect a senior is being abused, neglected or exploited, call the District Attorney's Senior Exploitation Unit at 610-891-5249.

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