Fighting the growing trend of check thefts from postal boxes, Fort Lee police nabbed a Teaneck man and a companion who they said had collected a bundle with a shoelace and glue traps.
Detective Dimitri Findanis and Officer Michael Kelly first spotted an illegally parked 2013 Nissan Altima near a drop box on 15th Street on Friday, Capt. Matthew Hintze said.
They then saw Adrian Baucum, 19, of Teaneck standing nearby, Hintze said.
Both recognized Baucum from previous incidents – he’s awaiting trial on a host of ID theft charges -- so they approached him and the Altima, the captain said.
They immediately smelled the odor of pot coming from the car, driven by Veronica K. Malabuyoc, also 19, of Edison, he said.
Findanis and Kelly also discovered the glue traps and shoelace -- commonly used for mailbox fishing -- as well as several bogus credit cards and checks, bank receipts and marijuana, Hintze said.
Before they were done, detectives had charged Baucum and Malabuyoc with dozens of counts in total of forgery and credit card theft, as well as individual charges of trafficking personal identification information, possession of a false government ID.
A judge ordered that Baucum remain held in the Bergen County Jail pending further court action. Malabuyoc was released.
Anyone who may have seen either or both Baucum and Malabuyoc, or has information that would help the investigation, is asked to contact the Fort Lee Police General Investigations Bureau: (201) 592-3510.
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