The Police Log is a digest of reports filed by the Warwick Police.
Officer John Zaborski reported he was dispatched to the Sears Plaza at the Rhode Island Mall around 3 p.m. on May 13 for a shoplifting in progress. Loss prevention at Sears said a man was running from the store with a number of high-end sunglasses he had just taken from the store. Zaborski said he found the loss prevention agent who was pursuing the subject at the edge of the woods behind the Auto Center who told him the man fled into the woods. Zaborski and another officer located the suspect under the bridge for the Route 295 overpass. He said he found 12 pairs of sunglasses on the suspect, most of them Ray-Ban, that were worth a total of $1,709.88. The suspect, identified as Sheldon F. Luther, 59, of 203 Greenville Ave. in Johnston, aka Frank Simone; Frank Ciccketti; John Silvia; Steven Corcoran; or Messio Kristim, has over 100 arrests under his name and those aliases, most for shoplifting, larceny and some breaking and entering, was charged with felony shoplifting as a habitual offender and assessed $10,000 surety bail. He was then transported to the ACI as a probation violator.
Police were back at Sears on May 14 for a report of a shoplifter in custody who was being combative. Officer Alfred Melucci reported he arrived to find the suspect seated on a bench with his hands cuffed behind his back. The loss prevention agent told Melucci he saw the suspect remove the pressure lock on the glass cabinet that held the video games and take two items out and head for the doors. He said the man was accosted outside and began to fight with a loss prevention agent on the sidewalk. He said the two loss prevention agents then teamed on the suspect, who pulled a box cutter-like knife on them and said, “I’m going to cut you” but was subdued and handcuffed before anyone was cut. Melucci said he did a search of the suspect and found three syringes and a crack pipe on the suspect. He said the suspect had no identification on him but a recent mug shot from the Pawtucket Police pegged him as Thomas McNeil, 30, of 20 Bissel St. in Providence. McNeil was charged with felony assault, shoplifting and possession of three pills of klonopin that were not prescribed to him and transported to District Court.
Officer Quentin Tavares was dispatched to the Target store in the Warwick Mall around 4:30 p.m. on May 14 for a female shoplifting suspect. Loss prevention said they saw her set aside some girls’ clothing and then take a gift bag from stationery to the electronics section for several DVDs that she later concealed in her purse, then the girls’ items and then on to the shoe department where she swapped the shoes she was wearing for a new pair and put her old shoes back on the shelf and then walked out of the store without paying for the concealed goods. Loss prevention said they recovered $261.13 worth of merchandise from Katie E. Collins, 26, of 6A Beatrice St. in Westerly. Tavares said police accompanied the woman to her car so she could retrieve a bag of DVDs that did belong to her, so that they would not be stolen from her Ford Escape while she was being booked at headquarters. Tavares said the driver’s side window was down and couldn’t be raised to lock the vehicle.
Officer Eric Lima reported another habitual shoplifter who was arrested at the Nordstrom Rack in the Warwick Mall on May 14. Loss prevention told Lima they saw her conceal a pair of $59.97 Reebok sneakers in her purse and walk out of the store without paying for them. Loss prevention told Lima they stopped her outside and she threw the sneakers and struggled to get away with no success. Karen Dourado, 57, of 156 Broadway in Pawtucket was charged as a repeat offender when Lima learned she had at least three prior felony shoplifting convictions.
Officer Jeffrey Waldman took a report of a fire at Gorton Junior High School around 6:15 p.m. on May 18. Dispatch advised him that a white car was seen leaving the area after a “Molotov cocktail” but all they could find was a small area of new char and a broken Captain Morgan rum bottle near the charred area. He said they believe it was filled with a flammable liquid when it was thrown from a car. A witness said he heard a crash and then saw the fire as a white car “with somebody hanging off the back of it” was leaving the area. A search of the area turned up no suspects or other witnesses.
Officer Jason Cooke reported he was dispatched to Moore Street around 6:15 p.m. on May 14 for a call about a National Grid customer tampering with a gas meter and then parking a vehicle over the valve box and refusing to move the vehicle for a National Grid crew to fix the valve. The National Grid employee said they were dispatched there earlier to turn off the gas to 133 Moore for non-payment and they were called later that day because they got a call from someone who said the homeowner was tampering with the valve. National Grid told Cooke it was now a safety issue because the homeowner was not qualified or authorized to tamper with the valve and gas leaks would pose a hazard to surrounding homes. Cooke said the homeowner was drinking and appeared agitated when they arrived and swore at the officers and refused to move the vehicle and said, “I am not moving [expletive]. They shut off my gas so they can go [expletive] themselves.” Cooke said he explained to the man that it was an emergency and there could be an explosion if the gas was leaking, but the man started yelling again and said, “Go [expletive] yourself.” He said he then advised the man that he could be arrested. He said the man again said he was not moving anything and started to walk toward the house. He said they grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground. Michael R. Gustafson, 38, of 133 Moore St. was taken to headquarters and charged with interfering with a gas, electric or water meter. In the meantime, a National Grid crew arrived to dig up the road and shut the gas off in the street.
DUI AND REFUSAL
Officer Matthew Moretti reported he was on patrol near Shaw’s Market on Warwick Avenue around 6:35 p.m. on May 17 when he got a call about a woman who told dispatch she was being followed by a black Nissan Pathfinder and making her nervous. Moretti said he drove into the area to look for the Pathfinder and saw one that was doing 52 miles per hour north on Warwick Avenue. He said the driver of the Pathfinder waved at him as he passed and swerved between lanes. He said he turned to follow it and it picked up speed and appeared to be trying to “lose” Moretti. He said he caught up with the Pathfinder when it stopped in front of Eddie’s 529 Club after circling around the back of the building. He said the driver appeared to be drunk and slurred and mumbled his speech. He said he denied following and denied he had been drinking. He said the man failed a field sobriety test. The driver was taken to headquarters where he refused to take a breath test. He was charged with DUI and refusal and then taken to Kent Hospital for detox.