A New York man and woman were charged Thursday with shopping from several stores in downtown Fairfield.

The arrest took place after an officer observed the man pacing back and forth in front of Banana Republic and several other stores in the complex at 1499 Post Road. After the officer made eye contact with the man, he got on his cell phone, police said.

Around the same time, the officer observed a woman in a leopard-print dress going in and out of Victoria's Secret and other stores in the same area. The man and woman then left the premises from the center's rear parking lot in a 1998 blue, four-door Buick with Illinois license plates, police said.

The officer followed the vehicle, and pulled it over at the southbound ramp of Interstate 95 off Mill Plain Road.

Trash bags with clothes, still on the hangers, were spotted by the officer in the back seat of the vehicle, police said. A subsequent search by the officer of the vehicle's trunk uncovered more trash bags with clothes on hangers, police said.

When the couple was questioned about the clothes, they were unable to produce receipts for them, according to the report. The merchandise in the car had a reported retail value of almost $5,000, police said.

Ruben Diaz, 45, and Ines Pena Molina, 41, both of Queens, N.Y., were charged with third-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. They were released on $25,000 bond, and scheduled to appear Sept. 29 in Bridgeport Superior Court.