SALEM — A man who managed to avoid being arrested on two warrants by giving police a false name Thursday evening was apparently confident enough to return to the station just a couple of hours later to help bail out his girlfriend.
But in that period of time, Salem police had figured out the true identity of Robert Graham III, and when they spotted him driving into the parking lot of the Salem police station, they were ready with the warrants — plus new charges of driving after license suspension and giving a false name.
Graham, 31, of 53 Belleview Ave., Salem, was a front-seat passenger in a car being driven by his live-in girlfriend, Tiffany Zemp, 25, when it was stopped on Salem Street at 7:22 p.m., Salem Police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said.
Zemp was charged with driving after license suspension.
Her three passengers were asked for their names. Graham, seated next to Zemp, told Patrolman Robert Cunningham that his name was "Dylan Hayes" and that he lived in Lynn.
The officer checked the name for warrants and, finding none, allowed "Hayes" and two other male passengers to leave, police said.
Back at the station, Patrolman Brian St. Pierre recalled Zemp and her boyfriend Graham from another investigation involving the theft of her 95-year-old grandmother's car and some checks. When he showed a picture of Graham to his fellow officer, Cunningham recognized the man who'd claimed to be Dylan Hayes, police said.
Then, a short time later, two men pulled into the police station parking lot — Graham and one of the other men who had been in the car, who got out and went into the station to post bail.
St. Pierre quickly moved in to arrest Graham as he tried to pull out of the parking lot.
Both Zemp and Graham were in court yesterday. Zemp, who had no prior offenses on her record, accepted an offer to have the case dismissed if she paid $150 court costs.
Graham was still in custody. Despite his record, open warrants, and efforts to avoid being identified by police, Salem District Court Judge Michael Uhlarik set bail at $100 cash, a fraction of the $1,500 sought by the police prosecutor.
He's not going anywhere just yet, however; he'll be held in custody until he clears up the two other warrants.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.