While on patrol on Jefferson Boulevard on May 9 around 11:30 a.m. Officer Gregory Johnson noticed a heavy duty backhoe traveling south. The backhoe was between lanes and did not appear to have any company markings on it, and did not have a transporter plate displayed.
Officer Johnson pulled alongside the tractor and recognized the operator, Peter D’Ambruoso, 52, of 237 Hardig Road in Warwick, who was not gainfully employed in the construction industry. A traffic stop was then conducted on Post Road near Hillard Avenue.
D’Ambruoso had a small Shih Tzu dog in his lap, and appeared jittery and nervous, and was quite talkative. He told the officer that he was taking the tractor to his residence. When asked who the owner of the backhoe was, D’Ambruoso said he did not know but that someone not known to him had allowed him to take it from a parking lot in Providence.
D’Ambruoso claimed that he was going to do some welding work on the backhoe, and also planned on doing a considerable amount of charitable work using the tractor. The officer informed him that this piece of equipment was meant to be transported on a secure heavy duty trailer and that it was only to be driven on a work site. Officer Johnson continued to question D’Ambruoso as to the ownership of the backhoe, and was told that it had been picked up from a parking lot on Elmwood Avenue near Cadillac Street. There were keys for the tractor, which apparently are a generic set for John Deere tractors.
While speaking with the officer, D’Ambruoso continually fidgeted with his right front pocket. He was then searched, and a glass smoking pipe, which the officer identified as a device to smoke crack cocaine, was found. D’Ambruoso claimed he had not used the pipe recently.
The tractor was then identified as a John Deere Schmidt 710 Turbo 4x4 backhoe and front loader. A check on the tractor did not list it as stolen. As the officer felt ownership was questionable, D’Ambruoso was detained and advised of his rights, and told that he would be cited for driving an unregistered vehicle on the roadway. He agreed to take the officer to the location where he picked up the machine, and was transported to 820 Elmwood Avenue, a Post Office service branch. There he told the officer that he had not spoken with anyone at the facility.
Officer Johnson then spoke with the postmaster at the facility, who stated that the tractor belonged to a contractor in charge of snow removal for the lot. A large plow push blade was located where the tractor had been parked. The officer was then provided a name and phone number for the tractor’s owner.
Upon calling the number, he spoke with the tractor’s owner who stated that no one had permission to remove the device from the lot for any reason. He valued the equipment at $45,000 and confirmed that at no time had D’Ambruoso have permission to use or take the machine. He was informed that the tractor would be impounded at the police station lot, and advised to report the tractor stolen to the Providence Police.
D’Ambruoso was then transported to police headquarters where he was processed. He was held for arraignment on a felony charge for receiving stolen goods, and was issued a ticked for driving an unregistered vehicle.
On May 9 at approximately 5:00 p.m., Officer Derek Mourato met with a woman for a missing cell phone report.
The woman stated that she and her daughter were shopping at the Quaker Lane Stop and Shop the day before. While shopping, her daughter may have put the cell phone down in the frozen food aisle. They checked the area later but could not find the phone. Store personnel were asked if a phone had been turned in, but none had been.
The phone was described as a white iPhone 6S in a black case with a pink border, valued at $700. A request was made by the officer for the store’s surveillance video. Currently, there are no suspects or witnesses.
A man met with Officer Albert Marano at police headquarters on May 8 around 9:25 a.m. for a report of a larceny.
According to the report, the man had ordered a set of LS3 Engine Lifters for $215. He was notified that the package was delivered to his home on May 4, but when he arrived home that day no package was found. While there are currently no suspects or witnesses, the victim does wish to pursue charges should one be found.
Officer Brian Murray was dispatched to the National Velour Corporation on May 8 just after 8:30 a.m. for a report of a stolen vehicle. At the scene he met with the complainant, who stated that when he arrived he noticed his 1994 Ford F150 was missing from the front lot of the business. The truck was last seen the prior day around 11:00 a.m. The vehicle was entered into police systems as stolen. There are currently no suspects or available security footage of the incident.
On May 6 at approximately 11:33 p.m., Officer Michael Harris was dispatched to the Ocean State theater for a report of a larceny from a motor vehicle.
In the facility’s parking lot, the reporting party met with the officer. There he stated that around 7 p.m. that day, he parked his 2016 Infinity in the rear lot to attend a play. When he returned to the car after 11 p.m., he found the car was missing all four tires.
Officer Harris observed the car, which was resting precariously on small rocks. There were lug nuts strewn throughout the area and in puddles. The car’s rear driver’s side window had also been smashed and the contents of the glove box had been rummaged through, apparently to obtain the lug nut key.
A statement was taken from the victim who stated he wishes to press charges if suspects were found.