Bracelet theft strategy works like a charm

A scheming duo made off with merchandise valued at nearly $2,000 from Banana Republic, 1499 Post Road, on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

A man and woman entered the store around 2:15 p.m. and police said the woman engaged a sales associate in conversation. Meanwhile, the man -- who was carrying several bags -- stood near the front door.

The woman then snapped a bracelet string, scattering charms across the floor, which prompted the sales associate to crouch down to clean them up.

As the sales associate was helping to pick up the charms, the man reportedly bagged $1,904 in merchandise and left the store, with the woman following. The pair reportedly went to the Trumbull Mall's Banana Republic next, where they took between 30 and 40 cashmere sweaters from the store, an amount valued between $2,000 and $2,7000, the Trumbull police said.

After consulting the Post Road store's video surveillance, employees described the man as between 20 and 30 years old, tall, with black, spiky hair and either white or Hispanic. He also was wearing a red shirt, police said. The Trumbull police described him as Hispanic.

The woman was also described as white or Hispanic by Fairfield police, between 30 and 40 years old, and having blonde hair. She was wearing black pants and a gray shirt, police said. Again, the Trumbull police described her as Hispanic.

The woman appeared to be the same suspect in a previous shoplifting incident at the Post Road store on April 15, although her hair was dark at the timer, police said.

The Post Road store employees did not report the incident to police until 3:41 p.m., nearly an hour and one-half after the theft. They reportedly were waiting for the manager to return.

Man charged with making false emergency calls

A 48-year-old man was arrested early Tuesday after he allegedly made five phone calls to "9-1-1," reporting that a girl was in danger and had been raped.

During the calls to police, Jon Gerte allegedly refused to answer dispatcher's questions.

The cell phone number was traced to Gerte, and his address located through the Department of Motor Vehicles. When police went to the Stratford address listed by the DMV, no one was there. An officer patroling the rear parking lot at the Fairfield Motor Inn at about 4:30 a.m. found Gerte's car and he was asleep inside.

He admitted to police he made that he made the emergency phone calls, but said he'd been drinking and called 9-1-1 because he was "out of it," according to the report.

Gerte had erased the calls from his cell phone and turned it off, believing that police then would not be able to trace the calls.

Gerte, whose last known address was East Broadway in Stratford, was charged with misuse of the emergency 9-1-1 system, and released on a promise to appear July 28 in Bridgeport Superior Court. He was also taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport for a medical evaluation.

Hookah lounge reports break-in

Police are reviewing a surveillance video from Sky Hookah Lounge on Kings Highway East after the owner reported a break-in Tuesday morning.

The lounge appeared to have been entered by prying a rear. Taken was a 42-inch television, valued at $1,000; $180 in cash, a $600 laptop and a music mixer worth $400.

The main surveillance was cut, but the video did show two men entering the establishment around 3:15 a.m.

Cash missing from register

The owner of Geiger's Garden Center, 40 Belmont St., reported that $110 was missing from the store's cash register Tuesday afternoon. The owner suspects an employee of the store may be responsible, according to police.

Car break-in

A car parked beneath the Interstate 95 overpass on Mill Plain Road was broken into between 9 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Reported stolen were an "EZ pass" electronic toll device, $75 in assorted CDs and a $100 air-conditioning unit. There was no sign of forced entry, even though the vehicle's doors had reportedly been locked, police said.

CDs swiped from car

A car parked on Pepperidge Circle was broken into between 11 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

The intruder reportedly left the driver's side door wide open, as well as all the interior compartments. Twenty CDs, together valued at $100, were reported stolen.