Monroe Police: Receipt leads to arrest for El Gallo Dorado burglary

MONROE, CT — A Bronx, N.Y., man turned himself in on a warrant Friday, charging him for the May 10 burglary of El Gallo Dorado restaurant, 115 Main St.

Samuel Bender, 26, of 1506 Morris Ave., was charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree larceny, held on $25,000 bond and taken to court the same day.

On May 10, Thomaston police officers arrested Bender on a Monroe warrant charging him for a disturbance at Subway, 640 Main St., on November 24, 2021.

During the arrest officers found a screwdriver and a large amount of cash on the front seat of Bender’s vehicle, police said. Included in with the money was a receipt for El Gallo Dorado restaurant to pay Rural Fuels, according to the report.

Earlier in the morning on May 10, El Gallo Dorado employees reported a burglary, in which someone climbed through a window and stole approximately $1,250 from the cash register.

The receipt in the register was to buy propane from Rural Fuels, with some of the cash meant to be used to pay a representative who was coming by that day, police said.

Based upon the evidence, Monroe police applied for a warrant for the burglary, but by the time it was signed Bender was already freed on May 10, before it could be served that day.

Phone scam

On May 26, an 80-year-old Monroe woman received an email, which appeared to be from PayPal, with an invoice for three purchases in the amounts of $6,570, $850 and $899.

She called a number in the email for “Global Tech Support’s Fraud Department” to dispute the charges and was transferred to a male representative, who told her to correct her account she needed to buy Apple gift cards for $500 and $1,000.

Police said she went to Walgreens, while still on phone with the male representative, bought the $500 gift card and read the activation number to him. But before buying the $1,000 card she became suspicious and decided not to.

The man became agitated and she hung up on him, police said, adding he called her several times after that, making one call while she was making a complaint at the Monroe Police Department.

An officer answered the phone and identified himself to the man, who yelled something at the officer, which was not understood because of his heavy accent, police said.

The number the man called from was run through many law enforcement networks, but no results were found.

The victim was advised to contact the three major credit bureaus, the Social Security Administration, her personal bank and PayPal.

Man tries to use bogus license to cash check

An M&T Bank employee told police an elderly Black man with white hair and a beard, who was wearing a face mask, entered the bank at 401 Monroe Turnpike around 5:30 p.m. on May 26 and attempted to cash a $1,960 check using a driver’s license.

A woman made out the Chase Bank check to a man with the same name on the license, but the teller told the customer the license looked off.

Asked for his Social Security Number as a second form of identification, police said the man read it off a piece of paper.

The bank employee refused to give back the license and check and tried to stall the man, but police said he left the bank in a white Toyota Camry with no visible license plate.

Cash register drawer on the parade route

A police officer found a cash register drawer in a shoulder of the 900-block of Monroe Turnpike during Sunday’s parade. It appeared to have been pried open with the drawer detached from the housing unit, which contained $3.55, according to police.

Officers photographed where it was discovered and later secured it and brought it to the Monroe Police Department as evidence. A check of local businesses found no outstanding burglaries, police said.

A notification about the cash register drawer went out to surrounding law enforcement agencies and the case is still under investigation.

Two hospitalized after Main St. crash

While leaving the Starbucks parking lot Tuesday afternoon, a 55-year-old Danbury woman attempted to turn left onto Route 25 in her 2014 Toyota Highlander, when a 2016 Audi A6 Sedan heading north struck her vehicle on the right side.

The driver of the Audi, a 66-year-old Monroe woman, told police the impact caused her to veer off the road and hit a utility pole.

The Danbury woman told police she was stopped at the stop sign and thought the road was clear when she turned. She was issued an infraction for failure to grant the right of way.

Monroe Volunteer Emergency Medical Service personnel evaluated the drivers and passengers at the scene.

The Danbury woman said she was okay, but her 17-year-old female passenger complained of minor pain in an extremity and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, along with the Monroe driver, police said.

Both vehicles were towed after the crash, which occurred around 4 p.m.

Police said there was minor damage to the utility pole, which was looked at by Eversource.

Unpaid cab fare leads to arrest

A 61-year-old Richards Drive man was arrested early Monday morning after allegedly refusing to pay cab fare for a ride home from a Milford gas station.

He was charged with sixth-degree larceny and released on a promise to appear in court on June 12.

Police said he was taken home at approximately 5:50 a.m. The ride cost $71.75, but he allegedly told the driver he didn’t have any money.

Illegal dumping, garage damage

A couple who recently moved into a newly built home on Richards Drive told police May 27 someone illegally dumped a large amount of fill against their garage, damaging the back corner roofline.

The fill included soil, roots, hay and other waste material, police said, adding the damage to the garage was estimated at $2,000 and the cost to remove the fill was around $350.

Unemployment benefits scam

Police received two complaints of Connecticut Department of Labor scams, in which bogus claims were made for unemployment benefits.

On Sunday, a 57-year-old Monroe woman told police she received an email from her employer about a false claim to receive $703 per week from May 1 to May 18, 2024 with an annual maximum of $18,278.

Then on Tuesday, a 35-year-old Monroe woman told police she was contacted by the HR department at her job about a notice of an unemployment claim, though she never applied for benefits. She did not suffer a monetary loss.

In both cases the victim was advised to contact the Connecticut Department of Labor to file a false claim incident, their banks, the three major credit bureaus and the Social Security Administration.

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