Arrested at Target, shoplifters tricked Nassau Police into releasing the wrong guy


Two men arrested outside Target last week on shoplifting charges switched ID's and got Nassau cops to send the wrong defendant back to New York City on an NYPD warrant.

Malique Wilson is still out there!

In the highly publicized shoplifting arrests at Target's Westbury store, Quamik Stephenson and Ronald Jiles-Ais walked in and took 2 infant carseats off the shelf. Then they walked over to Customer Service and tried to "return" them, according to police.

Stephenson and Jiles-Ais tried but could not convince Customer Service to refund money to them for the carseats. So they left ... with the carseats. Which they didn't pay for. According to police.

Target called 9-1-1.
Nassau Police arrested 3 men on shoplifting charges last week. One was Wanted by the NYPD. Police say he drove the getaway car.Photo byC.J. Teevan

According to police, Stephenson and Jiles-Ais were seen getting into a black Tesla getaway car that was waiting outside. Cops walked over to the Tesla, to investigate. There, in the back seat, they saw two new car seats, said police. They began to ask the driver, Malique Wilson, questions.

Suddenly, they said, the Tesla door flew open and Wilson was running through the parking lot. Stephenson followed him out the door. Jiles-Ais sat.

But then, say cops, Wilson came back.

Seeing opportunity, police rushed to the car and opened the door to arrest him.

Wilson had other ideas, they say: He hit the gas and sped off -- with a police officer hanging onto the open Tesla door -- and crashed into three other cars.

At this point, police say, Wilson got out of the Tesla and ran. They found him crouching near a dump truck. Stephenson was roaming around the parking lot. Jiles-Ais was still in the car.

The three men were arrested: Quamik Stephenson, Malique Wilson, and Ronald Jiles-Ais. All from Brooklyn.

During a routine background check, Nassau County Police discovered an open warrant for Wilson. He was "Wanted" by the NYPD on Weapons Possession charges. He would be held after they were done in Nassau County and delivered back to the NYPD to face the music in NYC.
Quamik Stephenson, who swore under oath he is Malique Wilson. He was Returned on a Warrant to the NYPD. The real Wilson remains at large.Photo byNassau County Police Department mug shot

The Target arrests were featured in a press release by the Nassau County Police Department the next day, complete with mug shots of the three arrested men. Editors covered the incident heavily. (No way to tell if the police mixed up the photos.)

But this wasn't over.

The three men were held overnight. The next morning, it was time for their arraignments. Standing before Nassau County Judge Marie McCormack, Wilson identified himself as Quamik Stephenson. He confirmed his home address and date of birth.

Then it was Stephenson's turn. He identified himself as Malique Wilson. He confirmed Wilson's home address and date of birth. Under oath.

Ronald Jiles-Ais told the truth. He said he was himself.

Malique Wilson pleaded Not Guilty to 3 Felonies plus resisting arrest, fleeing police, leaving an accident and other charges. He was represented by a public defender, Hauppauge lawyer Danielle Papa.
Wanted by the NYPD: Malique Wilson, who was released by Nassau County Police when he told them he was someone else. Now they can't find him.Photo byNassau County Police Department Mug Shot

But he wasn't Malique Wilson. He was Quamik Stephenson.

Quamik Stephenson pleaded Not Guilty to Petit Larceny and Resisting Arrest. Except he wasn't Quamik Stephenson. He was Malique Wilson.

Ronald Jiles-Ais, who was in the car the whole time, had 3 three fake driver's licenses when police arrested him. He was hit with 3 Felony charges for the fake licenses plus Petit Larceny for the Target shoplifting charge. His lawyer was Hempstead public defender Joseph Megale.

When arraignments were over, Stephenson and Jiles-Ais were released and got court dates. Wilson was shipped off to New York City, Returned On Warrant to the NYPD.
Courthouse in Hempstead, where defendant Quamik Stephenson declared under oath last week he's Malique Wilson and was sent to the NYPD.Photo byC.J. Teevan

When he arrived at the NYPD, they reviewed fingerprints and photos and surprise surprise they realized: This isn't Malique Wilson!

Too late. The real Malique Wilson was released last week. He's gone. He hasn't been seen since he walked out the door of 99 Main Street in Hempstead after his arraignment on a shoplifting charge. No one knows where he is.

The Wilson imposter, Stephenson, was sent back to Nassau County to face the music.

"Wilson has not been apprehended at this point," the Nassau County Assistant District Attorney told Judge McCormack today at Stephenson's arraignment on these new charges.

For his latest stunt, Stephenson is charged with Perjury -- a Felony -- and 5 Misdemeanor conspiracy, escape, impersonation and other charges. This time, Judge McCormack set bail. She noted that "Escape" in the 3rd degree under Penal Law 205.05 qualifies for bail under Bail Reform.

Stephenson's Bail: $200,000 Bond or $100,000 Cash. Stephenson's lawyer: 18B Public Defender Christopher Devane. Stephenson is still in jail. No one's bailed him out. They don't have that kind of money.

Beats Rikers.

They're out there looking for Malique Wilson.

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Civil rights activist and investigative journalist C.J. Teevan has covered L.I. news for the New York Times, computerized consumer products for Gannett Newspapers, and retail trends for business magazines. She lives in Roslyn, N.Y. with 3 dogs.

Roslyn Heights, NY

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