Friday, December 8, 2017

Skydive Long Island: Jerks accused of stealing man’s ID and going skydiving

Maryam Burkes and Abass Ibrahim

These two skydivers just landed in jail.

Ibrahim’s mugshot.

A Brooklyn couple vying for a spot on “World’s Dumbest Criminals” stole a credit card and used it to pay for a thrill-seeking adventure — including a video of the experience that led to their arrest, police said.

“For them to use a stolen credit card for skydiving, then get the video-and-photo package, it was certainly brazen,” Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron said of Abass Ibrahim, 21, and Maryam Burkes, 19.

“Not only do you see their pictures, but you hear them speak and see their mannerisms, which made it much easier to identify them.”

The Capital One credit card data was stolen from a man in Washington State, prosecutors said Wednesday during the couple’s morning arraignment. They then ordered two tickets online for Sky Dive Long Island in Shirley, choosing the deluxe package, officials said.

When they showed up for the dive June 20, they presented a photocopy of the credit card, along with a phone number they said was for the owner of the card.

Sky Dive’s owner called the phone number, and a co-conspirator claiming to be the owner answered and authorized the $854 total payment. It wasn’t until weeks later that Sky Dive’s owner realized he’d been had.

The diving package included a video of the experience, which the couple proudly posed for, answering questions to an off-camera instructor and throwing thumbs up signs to the lens from 10,000 feet in the air.

“I’m scared and I’m excited,” Burkes says in the clip.

Ibrahim was more cavalier.

“I just want to get it over with. I’m not really scared, I just want to get the feeling out already,” the thrill-seeker tells the camera man, who asks him if he likes “risk.”

“Yeah,” Ibrahim nods. “I take risks.”

When a Sky Dive worker realized the fraudulent charges on the account, police headed to the company’s office and found the video.

Earlier this month, cops posted the video and photos online and sent them to media outlets.

Mark Pollard, Ibrahim’s lawyer, said his client saw his photo on ABC News before the duo turned themselves in to Suffolk County police Tuesday around 5 p.m.

At their arraignment, Pollard said his client is a college student studying computer engineering who “has everything to lose.”

“He is a good kid. He is a college student who attends school in Buffalo. He has no priors. He has never done anything like that before. He has a real future ahead of him and he deserves a second chance.”

Ibrahim, who is charged with identity theft and forgery, was held with bail set at $10,000.

Burkes, hit with the same amount, cried at her separate arraignment, for one count of identify theft.

“This is a relatively minor offense. [Bail] is a little high, for the amount of money used,” her lawyer said.

They both pleaded not guilty.

Story and photos:

Police are looking for the duo who they said stole a credit card number in June and went skydiving. 
(Suffolk County Police)

SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island — A couple went skydiving on Long Island and bought video of the experience to save as a memory -- but they charged it all to someone else's tab.

Police say the pair used a stolen credit card to purchase two sessions and video footage at Skydive Long Island in Shirley on June 20.

On Friday, police in Suffolk County released that video with a call for help identifying the suspected thieves, whose faces and voices were clearly recorded in the footage.

The 3-minute long video shows the wanted couple talking about their nerves before the flight, smiling for the camera on the plane, skydiving with their instructors and captures their reactions when they land.

"So much fun! Thank you!" the woman says as she poses for the camera.

"That was amazing. Best thing I ever did in my life," the man says.

It was not revealed how much money the couple charged to the stolen credit card, but according to prices listed on Skydive Long Island's website, it was likely hundreds of dollars. A single tandem skydive experience costs $298; a video package costs $119; and a video and photo package costs $149.

A cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that can lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

Story, video and photo gallery:

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