Police Log

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ARSONIST STRIKES

On November 14 at approximately 2:17 a.m., Officer Ali Jaafar was dispatched to Asylum Road for a report that there were bags of leaves on fire in front of a residence. Another leaf bag fire was also reported at the same time on Metropolitan Avenue.

Arriving at the scene of the fire on Asylum Road, Officer Jafaar met with Sergeant DiMaio, who instructed him to obtain a statement from the homeowners while Warwick Fire extinguished the leaf bags. The homeowner told the officer that he had been asleep when he was awakened by a knock on his door and his dog barking. When he opened the door, a woman in her late 20s told him that the fire department was on the way and he saw the leaf bags on fire. The woman then left in a red car, and it was later determined she was an independent witness who happened to be passing through.

The officer also learned that there had been an early model gold Ford Explorer in the area shortly before the fire started. Officer Jafaar along with other members of the department patrolled the area for an hour and a half after the incident with negative results.

There was no significant property damage, with only slight burns on the front yard near the edge of the grass.

Later that morning around 4:46 a.m., Officer Jafaar was again dispatched to the same area, to Metropolitan Avenue, for a report of another incident where leaf bags were on fire, this time across the street from the home struck earlier that morning.

Officer Jafaar met with the homeowner who was in the process of extinguishing the fire with her garden hose. She advised the officer that she had been asleep just prior to the incident and did not witness any suspicious activity. The neighbor from the previous fire on Metropolitan suspected that a vehicle passing by may be throwing flammables into the leaves.

Warwick Fire arrived on scene shortly thereafter and fully extinguished the fire. Officers again canvassed the surrounding neighborhood for approximately two more hours with negative results.

SHOPLIFTING

Officer Adam Arico responded to the Worn ‘N Gear store on Bald Hill Road on November 17 around 4:20 p.m., after dispatch advised him that staff there had a video of an individual stealing from the store.

According to his report, the officer met with store staff, who stated that around 1:07 p.m. that day a male suspect, described as white, 5’10” tall, approximately 20 to 23 years old with a thin build and wearing a tan hooded sweatshirt, baseball cap, black boots and blue jeans, entered the store and went to the shoe department. There, he asked an associate for information on a specific item. Another associate later approached him to see if he needed help and told her he was just trying on a pair of boots. Around 1:30 p.m. the suspect left the store while talking on his phone.

An associate then went to put other boots away when she found a pair of old boots placed under a shelf in an empty boot box, believing the suspect replaced his with the new pair and walked off with them without paying.

A review of the store’s security footage revealed that the suspect handled numerous pairs of boots, then selected a pair of Chippewa work boots valued at $165, which he placed on his feet before leaving.

Security told the officer that they believed he walked to PriceRite, the adjacent store, which has outside security cameras, but additional security footage of the man was unavailable.

A flash drive containing security footage was eventually prepared for the police, and the store does wish to prosecute should the individual be identified. Currently, there are no suspects.

LARCENY

A man and his wife who recently had dinner at Iron Works Tavern returned to find that their car had been burglarized.

Officer Jacob Elderkin met with the victim in the restaurant’s parking lot on November 18 just before 11 p.m., who told the officer that when he went back to his car after dinner the back driver’s side window was broken. Missing from the car was a backpack valued at $100, an IBM Lenovo Thinkpad valued at $1,200, Timex prescription sunglasses estimated at $250, Jabra speakers valued at $100, along with other small items.

Employees at Iron Works informed the officer that there were no cameras pointing to where the vehicle was parked. Currently, there are no suspects.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

A man who recently told officers after being stopped that he had “five cervezas” was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

According to his report, Officer Mitchel Voyer and other members of the department responded to the area of 131 Airport Road on November 19 around 8:53 p.m. for a report of a single vehicle accident. There, he met with a witness along with the operator of the vehicle, later identified with his Guatemalan identification card as Selvin Santos of 10 Jewell Street, Providence.

Selvin was standing on the sidewalk next to his vehicle, which had sustained heavy front end damage, including a tire that had been ripped off the vehicle. Selvin told officers that he was driving eastbound on Airport Road when a motorcycle cut him off at a high rate of speed. He successfully avoided the motorcycle, however, he struck a wall along the side of the road. The witness also provided officers with the same account of the accident.

While speaking with Selvin, Officer Voyer detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage and noted that Selvin’s eyes were bloodshot and watery, his speech slurred and his face red. The officer also noted that he did not speak very good English, but that Selvin admitted to drinking five cervezas, or beers, and agreed to take a series of standardized sobriety tests.

After attempting the tests, and based on Officer Voyer’s observations and experience, it was determined that Selvin was unfit to operate a motor vehicle. He was handcuffed and transported to police headquarters, where he later refused to submit to a chemical breathalyzer test.

Selvin was charged with driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a chemical breathalyzer test, and operating without a license. He as issued a court summons and later released to a sober adult.

RECOVERED VEHICLE

A Janet Drive resident whose car was stolen in February recently had it returned in far worse condition than he left it.

Officer Thomas Greene was dispatched to the residence on November 19 around 1:10 a.m. and met with the resident. There, he observed the recovered vehicle in the driveway and noted it was significantly damaged with a smashed windshield, bumper and headlights. Still missing were the car’s license plates, which were reported stolen at the time.

The car was stolen from the victim’s workplace in West Warwick last winter, and on November 18 he received a phone message stating the car has been located in the parking lot of the Auto Zone on Warwick Avenue. The owner then had the car towed to his residence.

The West Warwick Police Department was notified that the car had been recovered and was now with the owner and that the plates were still missing, so that they could clear the vehicle from their database and re-enter the license plate information.

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