UDOEYOP - final

Udoeyop

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A man in Ferndale 43rd District Court on Thursday was charged with a felony of theft from a person police say is connected to an unemployment scam in Pennsylvania.

Unwana-Obong Udoeyop, 27, of Detroit was first arraigned in Ferndale back on Aug. 21, a day after police say he stole a small package containing a Pennsylvania unemployment credit card from a UPS delivery driver.

The driver was delivering the card to a house in the 700 block of Meadowdale, which was vacant.

Odoeyop earlier drove to the vacant house in a silver Ford Fusion and waited for the UPS driver to arrive, police said.

Police said Udoeyop tried to get the card directly from the driver before he could deliver it to the house.

“He didn’t have identification that matched the name on the package and the UPS driver refused to give him the package,” said Ferndale police Officer Jill Mahlmeister. The suspect “grabbed the package and drove off and the UPS driver got his license plate number and called police.”

Ferndale detectives used the license plate number to locate the suspect’s address in Detroit. They waited there until he showed up and arrested him. The UPS driver arrived and identified the suspect, police said.

“We were very fortunate the UPS driver got the license plate number,” Mahlmeister said. “False unemployment claims are a popular scam and it is hard to get charges.”

Detectives determined the identity of the person whose name was on the bogus unemployment claim and found it was a woman who lives in Pennsylvania.

“It appears (the suspect) was doing similar scams in Ohio because he had a warrant out there for ID theft in Wood County,” Mahlmeister.

After his arraignment in Ferndale, Udoeyop was extradited to Ohio for identity theft there.

He is now back in custody in Michigan.

The theft from a person charge he faces in Ferndale is a 10-year felony.

Udoeyop is scheduled for a preliminary examination at 2 p.m. Dec. 14 in Ferndale District Court to determine whether he will be ordered to stand trial.

Meantime, police said county prosecutors are reviewing a request to additionally charge the suspect in Ferndale with ID theft, a five-year felony.

Mike McConnell is a multimedia journalist for the Royal Oak Tribune. Reach him at mmcconnell@medianewsgroup.com

This article originally ran on dailytribune.com.

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