The Police Log is a digest of reports filed by the Warwick Police.
Officer Nadine Pallini reported a Christmas tree stand at Post Road and Maryland Avenue was the victim of multiple larcenies sometime overnight on Dec. 1. The owner of Warren’s Bargains Galore told Pallini that a lot of items went missing between 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 8:20 p.m. the next day. He said an inventory of his stock revealed 10 wreaths, 15 log baskets, 18 bundles of plain wreaths and an unknown number of trees were gone. There were no suspects or witnesses and no surveillance. Police posted a notice to the second and third shifts to do frequent checks on the site.
Officer Joshua Myer reported a housebreak and the theft of copper pipes after meeting with an HUD inspector at 197 Cowesett Road. The inspector told Myer the house has had no residents for the last three years and has been under the maintenance of a property manager. He said he was doing a routine inspection on Dec. 7 and saw that the heaters and the copper pipe for them had been ripped out. He said the last time it was officially seen was on Dec. 3 by a trusted local construction company employee doing work on the house. The HUD inspector showed Myers the window he believed the thief or thieves to enter the house. He said there was no other damage beyond the heaters and the pipes and the basement ceiling. The case was forwarded to detectives. He estimated that the pipes were worth around $500. No suspects or witnesses.
A Monroe Street resident told police he discovered that his snowmen flag and pole were missing from his porch on Dec. 6. He told them he last saw the flag around 8 p.m. the night before. He said the flag featured three snowmen on a blue background and cost about $50. No suspects or witnesses.
A woman who lives on Grove Avenue told police a package that was to be delivered to her home was missing. She told police she traced the package through UPS and the U.S. Postal Service and learned it was left on her doorstep around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and it was not there when she looked for it about an hour later. She said the contents were worth around $180. No witnesses or suspects.
An officer was dispatched to the YMCA on Centerville Road around 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 to take a report of a cell phone that went missing while the owner was playing basketball in the gym. The man told police he left the cell phone on his sweatshirt and noticed it was gone when he returned to the place he left and saw it as gone. He told the officer he went online to iCloud and locked the phone and said the phone had apps and features worth a total of $800. No suspects or witnesses.
A resident of the Royal Crest Apartments on Cedar Pond Drive told police she got a call from Cranston Police on Dec. 6 asking her if she was missing two iPods. She said she checked her car and learned that her iPods were missing. She told Warwick she was not sure when the devices went missing, but Cranston Police told her they had two suspects in custody and found the iPods in their possession. She said she did want to press charges for the larceny that apparently occurred in Warwick. They were worth $200 each.
Officer Matthew Higgins arrested a Providence woman at the TJ Maxx store on Bald Hill Road on Dec. 5. Loss prevention at the store told Higgins they had video of the woman concealing items in a baby carriage before leaving the store without paying for the concealed goods that were worth $79.14. Higgins said Marien Solano, 26, of 12 Carl St., had to call a friend to take custody of a toddler while she was taken to headquarters. She was later released with a summons.
Officer Gary Driscoll arrested a Warwick woman at Walmart on Post Road on Dec. 4 after loss prevention told him they saw her remove ear buds from packaging and conceal them in her purse and without paying for some sweatpants and greeting cards she had covered with a shopping bag from another store. Jane Marie Jansson, 51, of 606 Buttonwoods Ave., was charged with shoplifting and later released with a summons.
Amy Beth Butler, 36, of 47 Lorraine St., Pawtucket, was charged with shoplifting on Dec. 3 after loss prevention at the Walmart store on Bald Hill Road told police they saw her concealing various articles of clothing and electronics before attempting to leave the store without paying for them. Officer David Thompson reported that Butler was in no mood to cooperate with loss prevention or police and managed to pull one hand free from the handcuffs and had to be re-cuffed with the bracelet a little tighter. Thompson said he learned that there was a bench warrant out on Butler for failing to appear in District Court on Nov. 29 relating to a prior shoplifting charge. She was charged once again and then held for the next session of District Court.
According to Warwick Police, the threat of an Aldrich Junior High student bringing a firearm to school on Friday turned out to be a combination of a hoax and social media sensationalism that sent Warwick Police into a 15-hour frenzy of activity to run down and defuse.
“There was an investigation and several students at the school face sanctions from the school,” said Lt. Michael Gilbert of Community Policing. “We are still investigating it and are not sure what, if any, criminal charges will be brought against the kids responsible for it.”
Gilbert said they became aware of the so-called firearm posting on Facebook Thursday afternoon that sparked an immediate investigation involving all relevant units and included an extensive search of the school and interviews with the kids involved. Gilbert said as many as 15 students were interviewed, but the investigation led them to three kids.
“It started out as some sort of prank but quickly got out of hand and snowballed,” said Gilbert. “In the end, no kids were ever in danger. No firearm was found. A lot of resources were devoted to tracking this thing down. Fifteen to 16 hours of our people making sure it was a hoax.”
Gilbert said it was one of those times when the advantages of the social network’s ability to spread information misfired and caused a lot of concern among parents and authorities. “After what has happened in other schools around the country, we have no choice but to take these things seriously.”
Gilbert said it has not been determined if the kids involved will be dealt with in Family Court or some diversionary program, but he said he does want the perpetrators to realize just how serious it is to provoke the full force of a city’s resources to disprove a threat to kids in school.
“After the Columbine incident and others, there’s really nothing funny about a stunt like this.”