Police: License Plate Reader Picks Up One Stolen Car, Cops Given Several False Statements

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When a 40-year-old man was found in Darien driving a car stolen from Newark, N.J., one statement after another he gave to police proved untrue, officers said.

Darien police described the arrest with this account, including accusations not proven in court:

At 10:05 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, officers on patrol were parked off of Hoyt Street when a gray Toyota Camry with Connecticut license plates drove past, headed south.

As the car passed, the license plate reader in the patrol car indicated the vehicle’s registration information showed it had been reported stolen, so the police car took off.

As police followed right behind the car, it suddenly made a turn onto Phillips Lane, parking in the driveway at 10 Phillips Lane. The patrol car pulled in behind and the emergency lights went on. The officers told the driver to step out of the vehicle.

The man, Terrance Parker, 40, of County Street in Norwalk, was handcuffed and held in the back of the patrol car. He wasn’t arrested yet, according to police — at that point, he was just being held under “investigatory detention.”

Parker told the officers that the Camry belonged to his “cousin Wayne’s girlfriend.” Police were told by radio dispatch that the car was reported stolen in Newark, N.J. in May. Parker then was told he was under arrest.

Parker said he had picked up the Camry at about 7:30 a.m. that day at a repair shop in Stamford, and he had his cousin’s permission to drive it. He said he had no idea why the car had been reported stolen.

Asked why he turned onto Phillips Lane, he said he was looking for an address to give an estimate for the trash removal company where he worked. An officer called Parker’s supervisor, who said Parker wasn’t supposed to be in that area, had never been asked to get an estimate and was supposed to be at an address on Courtland Avenue in Stamford.

Police also found that Parker’s driver’s license was suspended and there was an active arrest warrant for him from New Canaan police. The warrant charged him with evading responsibility in a motor vehicle accident. Parker was taken to Darien Police Headquarters.

Police called the person that Parker said was his cousin. The man said he wasn’t related to Parker, hadn’t seen the car since it was stolen in May and he had never given Parker permission to use it.

Police found a prescription medication bottle in the car, with someone’s name on the label. Parker at first indicated that the person was his brother. That person was called and said he was only an acquaintance of Parker’s, and he saw Parker driving the car two days before, when Parker said he was going to buy the car from his “cousin Wayne.”

Parker was charged with second-degree larceny (a felony) and driving with a suspended license. He was held overnight on a $50,000 bond, which he was unable to post, then taken to state Superior Court in Stamford. There, his bond was reduced to $20,000; he remains in custody. His next court date is July 26.

Parker has several other cases in state Superior Court in Norwalk:

  • A March 2013 arrest by Norwalk police on a charge of driving while under the influence, with the added charge of violation of probation
  • A May 2015 arrest by Norwalk police on a charge of sixth-degree larceny (a misdemeanor)
  • A July 2016 arrest by Norwalk police on charges of driving while under the influence and driving with a suspended license.

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