Three men in a BMW loitering in a bank parking lot were questioned by police last Thursday, and when a police dog indicated there were narcotics inside the car, police found marijuana and fake credit cards, Darien police said.
Although two of the men ran off, they were captured. All three are teenagers; two from Queens, the other from near Queens on Long Island.
Police described what happened with this account, including accusations not proven in court:
At 9:13 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 16, someone called police to tell them that a black BMW sedan with dark tinted windows had been backed into a parking space in a corner of the parking lot of the TD Bank at 54 Post Road for more than an hour.
At one point, the car had left and parked in a lot across the street. After a short time, the car returned and drove through the bank parking lot, slowly.
Police went to the bank and found a BMW matching the description in the parking lot across the street. Three men in it were detained and questioned about why they were in the bank parking lot.
At some point, police dog Kenny conducted a free-air sniff outside the car and indicated that he smelled narcotics. Police searched the car and found a bag of what appeared to be marijuana and several checks with various names written for various amounts of money. They also found a credit card scanning device.
Police then moved to place all three men under arrest, but two ran off. Police ran after them. With help from other officers, both men were caught on the property of a nearby office building.
All three men were searched, and police found numerous credit cards not belonging to any of them.
Examining the cards later, police found they had been reprogrammed with new account numbers — not associated with the account number on the card, and often from different banking institutions than the ones that issued the card.
The arrested men are Shemar Joachim, 18, of the Jamaica section of Queens in New York City; Jaylen White, 18, with the same address as Joachim, except for a different apartment number; and Shabazz Baptiste, 19, of Valley Stream, N.Y. (a Long Island community a few miles southeast from Jamaica, Queens).
Each of the men were charged with illegal reproduction of a credit card, fourth-degree larceny, illegal use of a payment card scanning device, credit card theft, conspiracy to reproduce a credit card and possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana.
In addition, Joachim and Baptiste were each charged with interfering with an officer.
All three were initially held on $25,000 bond and their case will be heard in state Superior Court in Stamford. White’s bond was lowered to a promise to appear in court. Joachim’s and Baptiste’s bonds were each l0wered to $1,000, but each remained in jail as of Friday, Nov. 24. All three are next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 12.
Each of the three men are now charged with five more counts of credit card fraud; White is charged with seven more counts of stealing a payment card; Joachim and Baptiste are charged with eight more counts of stealing a payment card.
He has a previous case in state Superior Court in Bridgeport that has been “statutorily sealed,” according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website, and he is next scheduled for a court appearance there on Aug. 13, 2019. That generally indicates a case where a plea bargain has been reached and in which the matter is still available for prosecution until that date, provided the defendant doesn’t get arrested again.