A South Bend man already convicted of armed robbery and released from prison in 2005, was arrested by Marshall County police this week after passing a counterfeit check.
Plymouth Police Det. Sgt. Leo Mangus said the department received a call from Turn One Motorsports in Plymouth on Aug. 27 in reference to an $11,000 counterfeit check. The check was written to the business for the purchase of a Polaris Ranger, which was scheduled to be picked up the following day. The subject produced an identification indicating his name was Jason Milton.
Examination of the check and identification revealed they were both counterfeit.
Other cycle shops in the area were notified of the activity and, on Thursday evening, North End Cycle Shop in Elkhart reported the same suspect was there attempting to purchase a Polaris Ranger. A counterfeit check presented to that business was confiscated by the Elkhart Police.
Plymouth Police officers took the suspect into custody and transported him to the Marshall County Jail. The suspect, now identified as Armen Jerome Sylvester, 54, has been charged with Forgery, Counterfeiting, Attempted Theft and Identity Deception. His bond has been set at $10,000.00 cash.
Court records show that Sylvester, at the age of 18, pleaded guilty to a Class A felony robbery charge in 1979 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He appealed and, in a new trial, was convicted of attempted murder, a Class A felony, for which he received a sentence of 50 years, and robbery, a Class A felony, for which he received a sentence of 50 years.
On Dec. 20, 1978, Sylvester approached the locked office of Nehi Royal Crown Cola in South Bend where Michelle Bukowski was working and asked for a job application. Bukowski said they were not hiring, but Sylvester was insistent on filling out an application. The court document reads: “Bukowski found a blank application and opened her door only wide enough for the application to slide through. (Sylvester) forced the door open, pointed a gun at her, and told her to give him the money. She refused, and he shot her in the face. She fell to the floor, then crawled to a buzzer on the telephone and pushed it until co-workers came to her aid. When she reached the telephone, she saw that the money was gone.”
Sylvester was released from prison in 2005.