Police Log - 03/05/20

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The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston Police, Rhode Island State Police and other departments.

FIRE VICTIM IDENTIFIED

Johnston Police announced Tuesday that they identified Vincent D’Amico, 45, as the victim of a house fire that occurred Friday at 150 Carpenter Drive.

Public information officer Joseph P. Razza said via a press release that the cause of the fire, which was reported just after midnight, is still under investigation.

SHOPLIFTING

Patrolmen Joseph D. Anderson and Mario Mennella responded to State Police barracks in Scituate on the morning of Feb. 28 for the transport of a prisoner identified as Joshua Olsen, 31, A8 Krzak Road, North Kingstown.

Olsen was wanted by Johnston Police in reference to an alleged shoplifting from Home Depot and two outstanding bench warrants. Detective Thomas Dwyer wrote that a loss prevention employee from Home Depot had reported the shoplifting to headquarters earlier that month.

Dwyer wrote according to the loss prevention employee, a man walked into the store wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt on Feb. 5. The suspect is said to have walked to the electrical department and filled his shopping cart with more than $1,500 in electrical wire. The man, later identified as Olsen, then allegedly walked past all points of purchase and placed the stolen items in his vehicle.

Dwyer noted that one hour later, the same suspect went to a Providence Home Depot, where he allegedly attempted to exit the store with a shopping carriage full of electrical wire. When an unidentified party attempted to stop the suspect, he fled the scene in the same vehicle.

Olsen was charged with felony shoplifting and a misdemeanor count of shoplifting as a habitual offender.

LARCENY

Detectives Thomas Dwyer and Anthony Sasso responded to 6 Saint Mary Road in North Providence on the evening of Feb. 26 to take custody of a suspect – identified as Joann Minor, 50, of the above address – on an active arrest warrant for larceny under $1,500.

Minor was later processed and released with a Third Division District Court summons to appear on March 9. Minor’s arrest stemmed from an alleged incident that took place the afternoon of Jan. 16 at Cherry Hill Manor.

Upon arrival, Patrolman Michael A. Protano met with the alleged victim, who said that as he left for the day, he left his cell phone on top of a large round table where guests sign in and out when they walk into the lobby.

The man said he went to retrieve his phone, but noticed it was no longer on the table. The officer said the man’s co-worker tried to call the phone number to locate it, but a man answered saying that he “found” the phone in downtown Providence. The person asked if there was a reward for finding the phone, which there was not.

Protano said a review of surveillance footage showed a female suspect, later identified as Minor, taking the phone. While wrapping up his investigation and obtaining witness statements, a woman matching Minor’s description walked into the front lobby and signed the sign-in sheet. Both parties nodded their head and eyed to the right of them and whispered to Protano, “That’s her right there!”

Protano said he walked over to Minor and asked if she could step outside to talk to him about an incident that happened, to which she replied, “Sure, no problem.” He escorted her outside to the front of the building and explained that he was investigating the larceny of a cell phone on Monday, to which she said, “Well, I didn't steal any phone.”

Protano said he asked if she knew anything about a phone left on the front desk and she said she had no knowledge of it. He then said, “I may have footage of you committing the crime and I am giving you the opportunity to explain yourself to me now.” Minor continued to deny involvement, after which Protano explained to her she is a suspect and that she could proceed inside. He reviewed the footage and wrote that it was clearly the same person he spoke with talking on her phone and signing her name out.

He said she then walked over to another table next to the round table and picked up an article to appear nonchalant as others walked by. He said Minor then walked by the round table where the man stated he left his phone, walking away and closing her right coat pocket. The officer said the actual act of theft is not captured on the security footage. An arrest warrant was filed for Minor two weeks later.

FRAUDULENT CHECKS

Patrolmen David Galligan and Christopher Rotella responded to the Providence Police Department on the morning of Feb. 24 to take custody of James R. Grassi, 53, 112 Holden St., Providence, on a charge of fraudulent checks under $1,500.

Grassi’s arrest stems from an alleged incident that occurred on Jan. 3. Patrolman Merrick A. Cook met with a complainant, who stated that he received a $498.70 check from Grassi for services rendered. The man said he twice tried to deposit it into his account, and both times it was returned to him. Cook said the man told him he tried to contact Grassi regarding the check but was unsuccessful.

MULTIPLE CHARGES

While on patrol on the afternoon of Feb. 24, Sgt. Luca A. Lancellotti Jr. observed a vehicle drive through a stop sign on Traver Avenue.

Lancellotti detained the vehicle and spoke with the operator, identified as Ralph Tevyaw, 37, 44 Ortoleva Drive, Providence. Tevyaw told Lancellotti that he did not have an active license, which a RILETS check confirmed. He was issued a summons for driving without a license, first offense, for which he received a Third Division District Court summons for March 2.

A check on the passenger – Brian Mercurio, 25, 47 Harrison St., Johnston – showed active bench warrants issued from Second and Third division district courts.

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