Drunken Driving Prevention Device Thwarts Shoplifters: Police

A drunken driving ignition device kept a suspected shoplifter from fleeing from Farmington with thousands of dollars in designer handbags last night, according to police.

Levar Fulgham, and Jasmin Mancini, both 34 and of the same address in Milford, are accused of stealing 29 items worth $4,500, including Michael Kors handbags, from the TJ Maxx at 1600 Southeast Road.

Officers were waiting when Fulgham, Mancini and another person left the store because store security had called police to report the thefts, police said.

Fulgham ran when he spotted authorities and jumped into a car that was idling, but was not able to get away because he did not know how to operate the ignition interlock device, police said.

Since last year, ignition interlock devices are mandatory on vehicles owned by anyone who has been convicted in the state of drunken driving, including first-time offenders.

Drivers are required to blow into the device and pass a breathalyzer for the car to start.  

When Fulgham tried to run away, police chased him and took him into custody, according to the arrest log.

When police checked the car the three people had been in, they found bags ranging from $230 to $1,500 each, as well as designer socks, police said.

Police photographed the items for evidence and will get them back to the store.

Fulgham refused to be fingerprinted and provided police with a false name, police said. He was charged with several counts of larceny, interfering with an officer and refusal to be fingerprinted. He is being held on $100,000 bond, police said.

Mancini was charged with several counts of larceny and posted bond.

Both are due in court on August 14.

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