Follow chase, 2 suspects held for drug store heist
Warwick Police were dispatched to the Rite Aid store at 2055 Warwick Ave. around 8:50 p.m. Aug. 29 for a robbery in progress. Reportedly, a white male with a gun took money and drugs before the police got there but a witness gave police a description of the suspects’ vehicle and a lookout notice was broadcast for a silver or beige colored Buick LeSabre.
An officer spotted a car matching the description on Warwick Avenue heading south and gave chase. Other officers responded to the area as the suspect vehicle fled onto Oakland Beach Avenue, where it continued until it spun out and crashed at the end of Suburban Parkway near Sea View Drive. Police arrested two suspects and they were transported to Kent Hospital for minor injuries as a result of the crash.
Officers located evidence of the robbery and a black BB pistol in the vehicle. Other than the suspects, no other people were hurt during the crime or the chase.
“I think we were extraordinarily lucky in that we had great witnesses who gave us a description of the suspects,” said Det. Capt. Robert Nelson. “That’s allowed us to find the suspects quickly and, of course, our officers did a great job of capturing them without incident.”
An area resident told the Beacon that she and her family were watching television and thought the sirens they were hearing related to some fire or other emergency in another part of the city until the sirens got very loud and close.
“Then we saw the flashing lights outside and went outside,” said Marilyn Sheldon, 64, who lives nearby. “Then we saw the car that had spun out and the police were taking stuff out of the car. We saw an officer put a weapon on the trunk, a gun, but it didn’t look like a ‘gun’ gun. It was one of those BB guns.”
Sheldon said the two suspects had already been taken into custody by the time they went outside.
The suspects were later identified as Gino M. DiSano, 35, of 177 Northup Street, Warwick, and Todd E. Barber, 22, of the same address. They were charged with first-degree robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and resisting arrest. As the driver of the car, Barber was also charged with eluding police.
Nelson said no pictures or mug shots were released while police investigate the suspects’ possible connection to other robberies.
“We are in the process of showing photopacks to witnesses,” said Nelson, who explained that releasing pictures of the suspects might compromise that process.