The Police Log is a digest of reports filed by the Johnston Police. Chief Richard S. Tamburini or Deputy Chief David DeCesare has reviewed all reports
Patrolman Adam Catamero reported the theft of six mature marijuana plants from a trailer at Salo Construction on Centre Street on April 28. The owner explained to Catamero that he has a caregiver’s license through the state of Rhode Island and had been using the contractor’s trailer to grow the marijuana. He told Catamero a 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium light with an Extra Sun ballast that cost $1,000 was also missing. He further explained that, on April 25, a Johnston detective told him he received a tip that someone had been stealing railroad ties from the property. The property owner said he was in Florida at the time and called his father and asked him to check on the trailer right away. He said his father called him back and said he found the trailer unlocked, and relocked it. He also asked his father to make daily checks until he got back from Florida. He said he was back in Rhode Island when his father called him that morning and told him the trailer was unlocked again and he immediately went to check on it himself and realized the lamp and the plants were missing. He said there was no damage to the lock and he had the only key.
Then the owner showed Catamero damage that had been done to his boat. There was a small hole in the shrink-wrap and the owner showed Catamero where a bullet hit the $5,000 radar unit in the boat. Catamero concluded that, because shrink-wrap was in place when the boat was shot, it was most likely a random shot and not intended for the radar unit. Catamero said there was another hole in the utility box of a company truck and he recovered what looked like a .22 caliber slug from the box. Catamero said that the owner had already touched or disturbed the evidence, which made it futile to process it in the BCI unit but they did find a pair of wire snips on the ground beside the boat that the owner had not disturbed and that was taken for processing in BCI. There were no surveillance cameras on the site and there were no witnesses.
Patrolman Derek Parascandolo made a pretty straightforward arrest of a fugitive at the Sky View Motor Inn on April 28. He reported that a warrant and a request to locate came out of West Palm Beach in Florida for possession of stolen goods and lying to a pawnbroker in their town. It turned out he was also wanted in this state for failure to appear on a suspended license charge.
Parascandolo said he knocked on the door of Room 110 and announced, “Johnston Police.” He said a man answered the door, identified himself as David L. Pryce, 54, with a last known address in Smithfield. Parascandolo said he saw numerous glass pipes with steel wool in them that are commonly used to smoke crack cocaine but did not find any drugs in the room. A woman who was in the room was identified as Pryce’s girlfriend, who wasn’t wanted for anything. He reported that a no contact order between Pryce and his girlfriend had expired. Pryce, who Parascandolo noted had 37 charges on his BCI record, was taken to headquarters where he was processed and held for arraignment the next day. He was held without bail as a fugitive and assigned a District Court date for the failure to appear and then remanded to the ACI.
Patrolman Kevin Brady reported that a current or former employee probably took money missing from the office of the J and D Family restaurant on Putnam Avenue on April 29. He said the owner showed him the locked file cabinet in the basement where the money was kept. She said a lock and alarm covered the front of the office but there was a back door to the area that people familiar with the place would know about. She said that door could be opened with a particular screwdriver kept by the door that could open the back door quickly on a busy night. She said the same screwdriver could be used to open the file cabinet. Brady said he spoke with a dishwasher who only recently started at the restaurant and he said he saw a tall, blonde woman come through the back door and head right down to the basement office. Because he was new, he assumed she worked there. He said she came back a few minutes later and exited through the back door and got into a black Pontiac Grand Am and drove off. He said he decided to call the owner to confirm if the woman was permitted to go in the office and she told him to call the police. No suspect or other witnesses were reported.
COPPER WIRE SUSPECT
Deputy Chief David DeCesare reported police were dispatched to the WPRO-FM radio tower around 12:45 p.m. on April 25 for a larceny in progress. The station engineer told police he was in the process of installing video cameras around the property at 1 Ipswich St. when he heard what sounded like someone sawing something. He said he looked in the direction of the noise and saw someone sawing on the structure to cut away the copper conduits. He said he didn’t get close enough to get a good look but he had the presence of mind to not alert the suspect to his presence and quietly called the police.
DeCesare said he walked around to the rear of the building and saw the suspect “fiddling with a metal pipe.” He said he was creeping up on the tower when the suspect spotted him and jumped down to the ground, started pulling off his dark shirt and ran into the woods. He pursued the suspect while he called in the location for other officers. He said he lost ground to the suspect when he lost his footing but could still see him in the distance as he headed for the rear of 47 Morgan Ave. He said he did lose sight of the suspect but continued to follow the sound of rustling leaves and breaking branches until Capt. Raymond Skomin called out that he found the suspect just as DeCesare was coming out of the woods. DeCesare said it was the same man he chased from the tower and he positively identified him. Skomin said the suspect claimed he was a resident who was just throwing a newspaper away but the dirt and stains and blood on his clothing and his face belied that, as did the heavy breathing and profuse sweating. Skomin said he went from being a resident just throwing out a newspaper in the dumpster, to just an innocent guy waiting for his girlfriend to pick him up, to a guy who was just walking back from the local variety store. Skomin said they located the discarded clothing the suspect shed as he was running through the woods. Police also found some footprints in the soil that were several inches deep, left under the tower when the suspect jumped down and found the hacksaw, still embedded in the copper frame. The engineer who called the police said, judging from the intentions he could deduce, the copper was worth around $3,000 to the station. Jason A. Delellis, 40, of 131 Pocasset Ave. in Providence was later released on $5,000 personal recognizance.