The couple, an older man and a woman in her late twenties, claimed to be members of the St. Vincent De Paul Society and in need of financial help. The man claimed he used his money to help bury an uncle in New York and had experienced financial strain paying for the arrangements and for travel between New York and Massachusetts.
The woman claimed that they urgently needed money for rent, money to help with their child's needs, and for other living expenses. The church gave the couple money, but after checking into the addresses the couple gave in Uxbridge and Douglas, administrators realized the addresses did not exist, and had been made up.
Further background checks conducted by police found that the couple is wanted for similar scams at churches in New Jersey and other states in the Northeast.
Neighbors told FOX 25 that over the last few weeks, the couple has been going door-to-door asking for donations, a tactic that members of St. Vincent De Paul do not do to raise money.
"I think it's despicable," said Maureen O'Mara Tracy, who said she is a member of the charity and lives across from the church. "They're taking from people in need."
The suspects were seen operating a red or maroon colored sedan, possibly a Ford model, and most likely with New York plates. The male suspect, Joseph Viscusi, is roughly 57 years old, and police are working to obtain a photo of him. The female suspect, Laura Ryan, is approximately 28 years old and has reddish brown hair with bangs, and brown eyes.
Active warrants are out for the arrest of both Viscusi and Ryan. Anyone who has either been a victim of the couple or who has information regarding the pair is asked to the call Uxbridge Police Department at 508-278-7755.
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