Paroled identity thief arrested again, operating as a fake Uber driver in River North

Chicago — Lance Baymon and his older brother, Marlon, have been sent to prison time after time for identity theft, illegal use of credit cards, and other felonies for crimes against people they picked up in nightlife districts while posing as rideshare drivers in downtown Chicago. In fact, they’re both on parole for operating a continuing financial crime enterprise built on defrauding passengers who unwittingly stepped into their rideshare trap.

Marlon Baymon, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records, is in “absconder” status, meaning he is non-compliant with parole terms, and authorities don’t know where he is.

Lance Baymon in 2019 | Chicago Police Department

Lance Baymon was arrested in River North on Friday while operating a fake rideshare scam to face allegations that he ripped off another victim who stepped into his phony Uber in January and had four credit cards belonging to four different people in his car’s center console.

Early on January 30, Lance Baymon picked up a man outside a nightclub and drove him to the 6300 block of North Oakley, prosecutors said. Following the same scam he has used for years, Baymon allegedly convinced the victim to hand over a credit card for payment, then returned a different card. Past victims of the Baymon brothers have told police the Baymons claimed they needed a credit card for payment because the Uber or Lyft app was malfunctioning.

About 45 minutes later, Baymon was caught on video as he used the man’s credit card to make purchases, prosecutors said during a Saturday afternoon bond hearing. Chicago police detectives who are familiar with Baymon identified him from the footage.

Investigators flagged Baymon’s license plate in the Chicago Police Department’s license plate reader database. And around 2:45 a.m. Friday, the system got a hit on his car as it traveled in River North.

When cops pulled Baymon over near Ontario and Franklin, there was an intoxicated bar patron in his back seat—a man he had just picked up on Hubbard Street, according to police records. The man told police that his friend had ordered the Uber for him, but his Uber app indicated that he should have been in a different car and that the real Uber driver had canceled his ride.

Cops arrested Baymon to face charges in the January case. While searching his car, they found four debit cards in the center console, each issued to a different man, prosecutors said.

During Baymon’s court appearance on Saturday, prosecutors referred to him as a “freelance rideshare driver” and failed to inform Judge William Fahy that he was on parole for committing the same crime against multiple victims using the same scheme.

Fahy released Baymon on his own recognizance with electronic monitoring. Prosecutors also didn’t tell Fahy that Baymon was convicted of escaping electronic monitoring in 2005.

In addition to being on parole for operating a continuing financial crimes enterprise, Baymon was convicted of identity theft in 2019, theft in 2017, identity theft in 2016, and misuse of a credit card twice in 2005, according to IDOC records.

On Saturday, his attorney said he is unemployed but has been working in the CTA’s “second chance” program. He coaches boxing and regularly attends church, the lawyer said.

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