By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police busted a woman and her son for attempting to lease an apartment in Peter Cooper Village and in Murray Hill with an allegedly stolen identity last Tuesday. Christine Thompson, 48, and 19-year-old Christopher Vlado were arrested inside the Stuyvesant Town leasing office at 252 First Avenue after the pair went through the application process for apartments at 370 First Avenue in Peter Cooper and at 12 East 37th Street in April.
Thompson and Vlado allegedly toured the apartment in Peter Cooper Village on April 14.
The DA’s office said that Thompson went into the Stuy Town leasing office on April 22 and applied for the Peter Cooper apartment, allegedly presenting herself as the victim whose ID was being used. She reportedly signed the application that day and returned to the leasing office last Tuesday to sign the lease agreement. According to the DA’s office, Vlado sat with Thompson while she went through the application and pointed out where she needed to sign the victim’s name. She allegedly signed the victim’s name 33 times on the lease agreement and provided management with 12 money orders, each with the victim’s name in the signature.
Police recovered a New York State ID card with Thompson’s photo and the victim’s personal information, and police said that Vlado was in possession of the victim’s income tax returns.
Thompson reportedly applied for the Murray Hill apartment on April 17. Police said that she presented herself as the victim using that individual’s forged ID card and provided two money orders, which Thompson had allegedly signed with the victim’s name.
Police said they knew that the license was forged because of the poor quality of the card and Thompson allegedly admitted that her name was actually Christine Thompson and not what was printed on the forged ID.
Thompson reportedly told police that she paid for the victim’s identifying information and gave it to a third party to get the forged driver’s license. She allegedly admitted that she used the forged license to apply for both apartments and that she didn’t have plans to pay rent for either apartment.
She and Vlado were charged with forgery and identity theft.
StuyTown Property Services said management worked with the NYPD to catch the pair.
“SPS would like to thank the Detectives of the NYPD Special Fraud Squad, who apprehended these individuals,” said Chief of Public Safety William McClellan.
An attorney for Thompson and Vlado did not respond to a request for comment.