Sting nabs three in TV fraud scheme

Manchester police booking photos of William Hilliard, Keith Ryan, and Ashley Donofrio.

MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — An undercover operation by Manchester police led to the arrest of three Massachusetts residents accused of pocketing money for a supposed deal on television sets.

The case goes back to March of this year, police said, when a man got a call from someone claiming to be a Sears employee who said the store at Buckland Hills had excess televisions for sale at a great price. According to police, the victim met the ’employee’ in the parking lot and gave him $8,000 for 11 TV sets. But the ’employee’ never came back with the TV sets.

Then on Monday, Sept. 8, a friend of that victim received a similar call about a deal. This time Manchester police were called and they set up a sting.

“Both men then contacted us and a sting operation was set up to monitor the purported sales transaction at the Sears at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills,” police said in a statement.

Police arrested William Hilliard, 21, of Arlington, Mass., on larceny, forgery and conspiracy charges. Keith Ryan, 35, of Woburn, Mass.; and Ashley Donofrio, 22, of Sommerville, Mass., were arrested on multiple conspiracy charges. Each was held on a $500,000 bond.

Police say they anticipate making additional arrests.

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