New Yorkers arrested in connection with Darien mail theft

Three New York residents — two of whom are juveniles — face a host of charges in connection with recent mail thefts and fraud complaints.

Renaldo Moss, 29, of Yonkers, N.Y., was charged with sixth-degree larceny, risk of injury to a minor, possession of burglary tools, sixth-degree criminal conspiracy to larceny, and second-degree criminal trespass.

The two juveniles — one 15, the other 17 — each received misdemeanor summonses for sixth-degree larceny, possession of burglary tools, sixth-degree criminal conspiracy to larceny, and second-degree criminal trespass

About 1 a.m. on Oct. 26, police said an officer on patrol observed a male dressed in dark clothing walking on the north side of Corbin Drive toward the Post Road. Given the recent rash of motor vehicle burglaries in Darien and surrounding jurisdictions, and the manner of dress of the individual, police said the officer took note of the male. Police said as the officer drove past the individual, he observed as the male appeared to notice the marked patrol car, immediately turn 180 degrees, and begin to walk in the opposite direction. The officer exited his vehicle and began to speak with the male, later identified as a juvenile, appeared nervous when asked basic questions.

Additional officers responded to the area, one of whom observed a male exiting the wooded area in the rear of the post office located on Corbin Drive. When confronted, police said the male, also a juvenile, denied knowing the other juvenile. As they spoke, the officer noticed an envelope protruding from one of the juvenile’s jacket pocket. Police said the juvenile admitted the mail — later identified as a bill from a business in the area — did not belong to him. Both juveniles were then detained.

Police said officers checked the area of the mailboxes on the Post Office property, finding numerous pieces of ripped mail on the ground. An inspection of the mailboxes revealed a shoe string hanging out from one of the mailbox openings, said police, adding that the shoestring was part of a device commonly used in mail theft. The device consisted of a beverage bottle, covered in a sticky substance — later found to be mousetrap-glue — hung from a shoelace. When the protruding shoelace was pulled from the mouth of the mailbox, police said the bottle came up with several pieces of mail stuck to it.

While speaking with the juveniles, police said an officer noticed a dark sedan, bearing New York plates, driving by their location at a slow rate of speed. Officers then stopped the vehicle, and police said the operator, identified as Moss, stated he was meeting someone in the area. In plain view, according to police, was a yellow plastic bag full of opened mail. A search of the vehicle was conducted, and police said 31 pieces of opened mail, none addressed to Moss; six shoelaces, identical to the one on the mail theft device; and a debit card with another party’s name on it were found. When confronted, police said Moss admitted to driving the two juveniles to Darien, and that the juveniles brought the mail back to his vehicle after removing it from the mailbox.

All three were arrested. Prior to being transported, police said both juveniles were searched — one juvenile had several pieces of unsent mail, an altered check, bearing the name of a Darien resident, on his person, while the second juvenile had a debit card to a TD Bank account that was in a third-party’s name.

Moss was held on a $5,000 bond, which he was unable to post. He was transported to Stamford Superior Court later that morning. The two juveniles were released to family members and are scheduled to appear in Stamford Juvenile Court on Nov. 6.

Later that same day, about 10 a.m., an officer took a report of a fraud at 19 Tokeneke Road. The victim told police he had been contacted by his bank in regards to the cashing of possibly fraudulent checks. The victim stated that on Oct. 23, he placed a total of six checks in outgoing mail at the mailbox located at the Post Office on Corbin Drive.

Upon being notified by his bank, he told police he discovered that one of the checks had been altered and was made out to an unknown third party in the amount of $800 and a second check was altered and made out to a second unknown party in the amount of $2,343. The name on the check made out for $800 was the same name found on the debit card located on Moss earlier that day, and the crimes from this incident were among the charges added against Moss.