Facebook post leads to arrest of alleged Macy’s shoplifter

PARAMUS – An alert security guard who spotted a Facebook user selling designer watches told police the man resembled a shoplifter who stole merchandise from Macy’s, authorities said Thursday.

The man, Alfredo “Freddy Vega,” 49, was arrested Wednesday and now faces shoplifting and other charges, according to Paramus Police Chief Kenneth R. Ehrenberg.

The theft of several Tommy Hilfiger watches occurred April 7 at the Westfiled Garden State Plaza, Ehrenberg said in a statement.

“The security manager at Macy’s found an Internet posting that the stolen watches were being sold online by a male with a Facebook profile identified as ‘Freddy Vega,’” Ehrenberg said.

“The Facebook picture resembled the suspect in the theft,” the chief said.

Paramus Police Det. Mark sent out an all-points bulletin that included surveillance photos and the Facebook photo of Vega, Ehrenberg said.

After receiving the bulletin, Lt. Michael Cumiskey of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office recognized Vega from previous times Vega had been jailed, Ehrenberg said.

“Based upon this information a warrant was issued for Mr. Vega,” Ehrenberg said.

About 6 p.m. on April 27, a suspect later identified as Vega shoplifted several pairs of men’s shoes from J. Crew in the Bergen Towne Center, police said.

The suspect ran from the scene before police arrived.

On May 3, Paramus Police Officer David Betancourt was flagged down by a security officer at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The security officer told Betancourt that a man who had shoplifted from Sunglasses Hut the day before was again at the mall.

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Ancestry.com Helps Family of Dead Boy Find Man Posing as Him

“A Pennsylvania man who assumed the identity of a baby who died in Texas in 1972 has been arrested on charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft after the baby’s aunt discovered the ruse on Ancestry.com.

Jon Vincent, 44, was arrested in Lansdale, near Philadelphia, on Monday, but had also lived near Pittsburgh and York, Pennsylvania since 2003 — after first obtaining a Social Security card in the name Nathan Laskoski in 1996, federal prosecutors said. Vincent remained jailed Wednesday, when a federal magistrate ordered him to appear for arraignment May 2.

The real Nathan Laskoski died in December 1972, two months after he was born near Dallas. Vincent stole the dead child’s identity after escaping from a Texas halfway house in March 1996, and used the dead baby’s identity to start another life, prosecutors said. The Texas conviction was for indecency with a child, though the precise sentence Vincent was serving wasn’t immediately clear, said Michele Mucellin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

Vincent lived in also lived in Mississippi and Tennessee under his assumed name, holding jobs, getting drivers’ licenses and even getting married and divorced as Laskoski before the scheme unraveled late last year, according to online court records.

That’s when Laskoski’s aunt did a search on Ancestry.com, a genealogy website.

In researching her family tree, Nathan Laskoski’s name came up as a “green” leaf on the website, which led to public records suggesting he was alive. The aunt told Laskoski’s mother, who did more research and learned that someone had obtained a Social Security card under her son’s name in Texas, as well as finding public marriage and divorce records, Laskoski’s mother filed an identity theft complaint with the Social Security Administration.

An investigator from the SSA’s Office of Inspector General took it from there in January, court records show.

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Plane loaded with drugs makes emergency landing at Ohio University

Columbus OH April 1 2017 Pilot Sylvain Desjardins and passenger David Ayotte were the only two aboard the twin-engine turboprop that left Grand Bahama Island on Wednesday, bound for Windsor, Canada. But they were not alone.

About 2,400 miles to the west, in Riverside, California, the Piper Navajo was being watched, like many closing in on U.S. borders, especially from the Caribbean.

When the plane experienced mechanical problems and diverted from its flight path toward Athens, Ohio, the U.S. Customs and Board Protection Air and Marine Operations Center and other federal and local agencies went into action.

The Department of Homeland Security notified the Athens County sheriff’s office and OU police that the pilot planned to land at Gordon K. Bush Ohio University Airport. The airport is not a port of entry with a customs station. Officials told the locals to hold the plane for federal authorities.

Homeland Securities investigation agents and Customs and Border Protection agents based in Columbus hurried southeast to Athens. Homeland Security said a database search revealed that both men had prior drug convictions in Canada.

The plane landed about 2:30 p.m. and the pilot told OU police and Athens County deputies who met the plane that mechanical problems necessitated the emergency landing. The California center notified Desjardins that his plane was going to be searched. Desjardins consented to the search, according to an affidavit filed in federal court in Columbus.

Agents found more than 290 pounds of cocaine hidden aboard the plane’s tail section.The amount likely is the largest cocaine seizure in southern Ohio, said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman in Columbus.

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