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Police Blotter: Of Drug Possession and Stolen Identities

Police arrest a pair apparently stealing electric toothbrush heads from CVS.

Monday, June 21

LARCENY & DRUG SEIZURE Rogelio Maldonado, 27, of Branford and Dawn Sides, 25, of Hamden were charged with possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, conspiracy to commit fifth degree larceny, and criminal attempt at fifth degree larceny after an apparent theft gone awry. 

Around 7:30 p.m., police observed Sides standing by a 1995 Honda Accord outside of CVS (964 Post Road), where she was attempting to cover the vehicle's license plate with a wet paper towel. When police approached her, Sides had moved around to the front passenger seat, talking on a cell phone and appearing distraught.  As they spoke to her, police noted behavior consistent with being under the influence of heroin, as well as two pieces of tinfoil in the vehicle folded together in such a way as to suggest the presence of the drug. When asked her where her partner was, Sides said he had entered the store, describing him as a white male wearing shorts. 

As CVS surveillance tape later showed, her partner, Maldonado, had entered and placed a substantial quantity of electric toothbrushes, toothbrush heads, and medicine into a basket. But when an officer entered, Maldonado put the items back on the shelf and began to exit the store. There, he was apprehended and placed under arrest along with Sides. A further search of the vehicle turned up 16 syringes and six spoons containing heroin residue, as well as an open package of toothbrush heads and a glass pipe apparently used with the drug. The folded tin foil was also confirmed to contain heroin.

Maldonado, who had numerous previous larceny arrests, was held on $10,000 bond, while Sides' bond was set at $5000. Both posted and are set to appear in court July 2.

Tuesday, June 22

ATV THEFT A 17-year-old Shelton resident turned himself in on a warrant for third degree larceny and third degree conspiracy stemming from an earlier complaint.

On May 16, a resident of 191 Hoyt Street reported the disappearance of two red Polaris Scrambler ATVs, valued at $1500 each. Police said the man had been cutting grass around 12:30 p.m. when he noticed the quads were no longer parked in a driveway area. He told police he last remembered seeing them in March.

Subsequent to that report, Darien police noted in a Connecticut Intelligence Center bulletin that officers in Shelton had seized an ATV meeting the description during a May 9 traffic stop over a stolen scooter. During the stop, Shelton police arrested all three people in the truck, one of whom Darien investigators later developed enough information on to arrest for the ATV theft. A department official said further charges may yet be filed.

Wednesday, June 23

FRAUDULENT WITHDRAWAL Michael Serulle, 32, of New York City was arrested after attempting to make a withdrawal from HSBC bank under a stolen identity.

Read the full story here: Man Accused of $3300 Fraudulent Withdrawal Attempt

MARIJUANA POSSESSION Michael Axelrod, 37, of Post Road was charged with marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, operating a vehicle with a suspended registration, and possession of prescription drugs not in their original container after a traffic stop. Using a license plate reader, police determined that the registration for Axelrod's passing 1989 Buick Century was suspended, prompting them to pull him over on Post Road near Brookside Road around 9:30 a.m. When interviewed, Axelrod admitted to officers that he had allowed the vehicle's insurance to lapse.

Initially Axelrod told police there were no illegal substances in the car, but when officers said they would have to inventory the contents before towing the vehicle, he said there might be some shake—or leftover marijuana—in his pocket, along with a pipe. After a search of Axelrod's person and vehicle, police seized 7.7 gram bag of the drug and a total of three pipes, one packed with unburned marijuana. Officers also discovered a prescription pill bottle containing a mix of drugs, including Klonopin, Lithium, and Lexapro. Axelrod was arrested and released on $500 bond. He is set to appear in court July 3.

Friday, June 25

IDENTITY THEFT Kristen Montanez, 28, of Lyme was arrested on a warrant for identity theft, theft of a credit card, illegal use of a credit card, sixth degree larceny, and criminal attempt at illegal use of a credit card stemming from an April 28 incident.

The initial complaint was filed by an employee of Beadz Boutique (37 Tokeneke Road), who realized when she returned home from the store that her wallet—containing about $200 in cash, numerous credit cards, and her driver's license—was missing. She told police she had left it unattended around 4 p.m. on a table near the rear of the store, leading her to believe the wallet was stolen. The complainant subsequently determined that two attempts to use her debit card had been made within an hour of the wallet's disappearance—one at a McDonald's ATM, the other at a Fairfield County Savings Bank in Norwalk. Surveillance video from the bank showed two women driving an older, dark colored 4-door Volvo at the time of the attempted withdrawal.

When New Canaan police later reported the arrest of Montanez on a similar charge involving a similar vehicle, Darien investigators interviewed Montanez, who admitted that the car in the surveillance video was hers. She also identified the other female and described the method of the theft, wherein one partner distracts the target while the other retrieves the wallet. Montanez posted a $1500 bond and is set to appear in court July 6.

Saturday, June 26

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE Kevin Anderson, 35, of New Haven was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, driving on a suspended license, driving an unregistered vehicle, and driving without insurance after his vehicle was caught by a speed trap.

Around 9:12 p.m., police using a radar gun on Post Road near Thorndal Circle observed Anderson's 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse driving eastbound at 60 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. He was stopped as he pulled into a BP station, where police noted glassy eyes and an odor of alcohol on Anderson. After failing field sobriety tests, he was arrested and held on $2500 bond due to previous motor vehicle and failure to appear arrests. Anderson posted and is set to appear in court July 7.

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