Police said that shortly after the woman reported the theft, Colon and two accomplices, a man and a woman, tried to purchase $136 in goods at the Walmart in Methuen, but the credit card was denied. Police said they went to another register and tried to purchase $549 in goods, but again the credit card was denied.
Police were able to identify Colon through store surveillance video. The car that Colon and his accomplices were using was also identified and matched the description given to them by the victim.
During the investigation into the theft, a worker at the Linwood Cemetery told police he had been contacted by the Elmwood Cemetery in Methuen about two similar incidents that happened there and to be on the lookout for two men who were driving a small, “boxy” car. The worker gave police the license plate number of the car, which police said was registered to a woman in Lawrence.
On Aug. 23, police spoke to the woman to ask where her car was and she said boyfriend Pedro Colon had her car and that it was his birthday. Police showed the woman a photograph of the three suspects who’d used the victim’s credit card. The woman said she did not know the man and woman who were with Colon. The woman told police she had been in the Dominican Republic for the last month and just got back. Police told her that Colon had been using it to commit crimes. Police subsequently issued a warrant for Colon’s arrest.
During Colon’s arraignment Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney John DePaulo said Colon uses five aliases and different dates of birth and has a seven-page criminal record going back to 1981. He said Colon served time on a conviction in Roxbury District Court in 1987 on the charge of distribution of cocaine. DePaulo said Colon served two years for larceny of a motor vehicle in 1988, served one year for assault and battery on a police officer in 1992, served two years for distribution of heroin in 1998, served one year for distribution of cocaine in 2001, and in 2001 he was convicted in both Roxbury and Dorchester district courts for distribution of heroin, for which he received sentences of 2 years and 2 1/2 years, which he served concurrently.
Colon was provided with a Spanish language interpreter at his arraignment.
“He’s got an interpreter but he’s been doing crimes in America since 1981,” DePaulo said. “He understands every word I’m saying.”
Judge Patricia Dowling ordered that he be held on $10,000 cash bail.