The Police Log is a digest of reports provided by the Johnston Police, Rhode Island State Police and other departments.
Early on the morning of March 8, Rhode Island State Police transported Joshua Olsen, 32, A8 Krzak Road, North Kingstown, to Johnston Police Department headquarters for a warrant out of the station.
Olsen was charged with felony shoplifting and a misdemeanor for being a habitual offender. Olsen’s arrest stemmed from an alleged incident that occurred on the afternoon of March 2, when Detective Thomas Dwyer responded to The Home Depot on 100 Stone Hill Road in reference to a reported shoplifting.
Upon arrival, Dwyer said he met with the loss prevention officer, who said that the store manager notified her that a man exited the business with a shopping carriage full of electrical equipment. She later told Dwyer than the manager immediately identified the man as repeat offender Olsen. The items allegedly stolen by Olsen - which included four rolls of three different types of wire - were valued at more than $1,200 total.
Dwyer said that after placing the items in his cart, Olsen proceeded toward the exit, where he walked past the point of purchase without making an attempt to pay for the merchandise. Dwyer said Olsen placed the stolen items in an older model Dodge pickup truck bearing unknown license plates, and the vehicle fled the scene.
Home Depot would later issue a no-trespass order for Olsen.
Patrolmen Cody Weaver and Michael Martufi, along with Detective Thomas Dwyer, responded to The Home Depot at 100 Stone Hill Road for a shoplifting report the afternoon of Feb. 19.
Upon arrival, Weaver said they met with the loss prevention officer, who said a man she positively identified as Thomas Zarra, 29, 6 Victoria Mount St., Johnston, stole electrical equipment and left just prior to police arrival. She said Zarra walked into the store pushing a carriage, noting that his jacket was open showing a gray hooded sweatshirt. She said she remembered Zarra from a specific shoplifting incident last September, and that he wore the exact same sweatshirt.
She suspected he would shoplift again, so she followed him to the electrical aisle, where she saw him take off his jacket and use it conceal two boxes of GFCI outlets. The total amount of outlets stolen amounted to $441.44. The loss prevention officer said Zarra placed the jacket containing the outlets in the shopping cart and walked past all points of purchase before fleeing in a gray van. Video surveillance viewed by the officers later confirmed the facts of the story.
A BCI check conducted by Weaver showed that Zarra had a prior shoplifting conviction in Cranston, for which he pleaded no contest and received a one-year suspended sentence. Weaver also noted that Zarra was issued a no-trespass order for the Home Depot at 100 Stone Hill Road on Sept. 11, 2020. An arrest warrant and affidavit were prepared for Zarra as a result of the events.
On the afternoon of March 4, Patrolman Thomas Santurri wrote that Dwyer had detained Zarra at a location redacted from the report. He was charged with felony shoplifting and willful trespassing.
Patrolwoman Ashley VanBemmelen and Patrolman Derrick Palazzo were on a fixed post at 1025 Plainfield St. on the evening of March 6 when they saw a vehicle traveling westbound without a front registration plate.
VanBemmelen said she conducted a motor vehicle stop and spoke with the operator, Daquan Harris, 28, 75 Liegh St., Providence. Harris said he did not have a valid driver’s license.
A check through RILETS also revealed that he was wanted on an active Superior Court bench warrant for failure to appear stemming from the Providence Police Department charge of possession of a controlled substance. Another check showed his registration had expired, and RI Court Connect revealed this to be his third offense for driving without a license.
An inventory search of the vehicle found a green leafy substance - which VanBemmelen said was known to her as marijuana through her training and experience at the police academy - located in two large cellophane baggies located inside the glovebox.
Harris was taken into custody on the warrant and additionally charged with possession of marijuana, more than one ounce, first offense, and driving without a license, third or subsequent offense.