Johnston Police Log

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

SUSPECT IDENTIFIED

The Johnston Police Department has identified a suspect allegedly involved in the theft of more than $10,000 worth of eyeglasses from OPTX Rhode Island, located at 1277 Hartford Ave. in Johnston.

The release thanked the public for their assistance in identifying William McNally, 19, as the suspect. The JPD have issued an active felony arrest warrant for McNally, whose whereabouts are unknown at this time. Anyone with information on McNally’s whereabouts can call 231-8100.

SHOPLIFTING

Detective Thomas M. Dwyer met with the Home Depot loss prevention manager who requested to report a shoplifting the afternoon of April 8.

The manager said that two men entered the store on March 22, loading their shopping carriage full of Dewalt power tools. Moments later, both suspects exited from the emergency fire exit at the front of the store and loaded all their stolen merchandise into a Jeep bearing an unknown RI passenger registration. They then fled the parking lot. Dwyer said the manager provided him with a receipt for the items, totaling $540.97.

Dwyer said he viewed surveillance footage, where he noticed the two suspects loading the items into the Jeep – parked waiting for the suspects – without making any attempt to purchase.

Dwyer said an anonymous tip led police to determine one of the suspects was Frederick J. McCaughey III, 39, of Island Avenue, East Providence.

Dwyer said that while comparing McCaughey’s Winfacts photograph and an IMC cross-agency Cranston Police Department booking photograph of McCaughey’s rigith side facial shot photo, it was confirmed that he was one of the suspects in the Home Depot photograph.

On April 1, the Rhode Island Detectives Association, Lincoln Police Department posted that a warrant was issued for a Pedro Rodriguez, who was attempting to pass counterfeit $100 bills. A photograph was also sent with the post.

Dwyer said that, after viewing the photograph and Rodriguez’s Winfacts photograph, it was confirmed that he was the same suspect from the Home Depot video. Arrest warrants and affidavits were prepared for misdemeanor counts of shoplifting and conspiracy.

On May 22, patrolmen Matthew Leveillee and Robert Cardoza responded to the ACI to take McCaughey, also known as Pedro Rodriguez, into custody on the warrants. McCaughey was also wanted out of Lincoln PD on a felony warrant for passing counterfeit bills under his alias name, Pedro Rodriguez and another redacted name.

McCaughey was arraigned and released on $2,000 personal recognizance with a Third Division District Court date of June 1.

Police are still searching for the second suspect.

***

Patrolmen Michael Martufi and Michael Protano, along with Sgt. Joseph McGinn, were dispatched to the Walgreens at 25 Putnam Ave. the afternoon of May 22 for a report of shoplifting that had just occurred.

The manager reported the crime, Martufi wrote, and he explained to communications personnel that the suspects left in a blue Toyota but that they had parked in an adjacent lot, in front of Burger King at 9 Putnam Ave. He advised that, while officers were en route, the Toyota left the parking lot.

Martufi said that, given the circumstances, two officers on construction detail responded to the area and stopped the suspect vehicle immediately on George Waterman Road, still within eyesight of Walgreens.

Martufi said the vehicle was being driven by Elba Reyes, 53, of Cambridge Street, Providence. Also in the car were Marielise Ortiz-Colon, 29, of Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, and Luis Rodriguez, 38, of Atwells Avenue in Providence. Martufi said that Rodriguez initially lied about his first name and date of birth in an attempt to elude prosecution efforts.

Upon contact with the vehicle, Martufi said he and the other officers observed four large bags in plain view that were almost overflowing with common drug store items, such as vitamins, oral health care products, perfumes and other assorted goods. Digital pictures of the stolen merchandise were later uploaded into the report as evidence.

The manager, who had walked over to the location, said that some of the items belonged to Walgreens and he positively identified Ortiz-Colon and Rodriguez as the suspects who were in the store. The manager, Martufi said, told them that they were observed concealing vitamins in their pockets while inside the store and passed all points of purchase without ever having attempted to make payment.

Martufi asked the manager if he knew the dollar amount of the items that were stolen, but he explained that the given the large amount of merchandise, he would need to conduct a thorough inventory before the exact dollar amount could be accurately stated. He also told Martufi that the incident was captured on surveillance cameras and that the video footage would be made available for prosecution.

Martufi said that, as they tried to identify Rodriguez, Reyes kept interjecting that she “wasn’t involved” and that she “didn’t know them.” Martufi said that Reyes told him specifically, “I’m a CNA in North Providence and I was just eating at Burger King and they came over and said they were hungry so I let them in my car.”

Martufi said the statement seemed extremely confusing and inaccurate, considering that the average person does not allow two strangers to enter their car to eat Burger King food, simply because they are hungry.

In an attempt to uncover the truth, Martufi said he met with Ortiz-Colon, whom he had built a good rapport with, as she was respectful and polite during the entire investigation. Ortiz-Colon advised Martufi that she has been friends with Reyes for about a year, when they met at a hair salon. Based on that statement, Martufi said that it was evident Reyes lied about her involvement with Ortiz-Colon and Rodriguez and that she is friends with them.

Martufi then asked Ortiz-Colon who the male suspect was and she advised that his name is Luis Rodriguez and provided his date of birth. She said Rodriguez is her boyfriend. Using that knowledge, Rodriguez was asked to confirm his name again and Martufi said he provided the false one once more. At that time, Martufi told Rodriguez he was aware of his real name, then replying that he is Luis Rodriguez, and his full legal name was determined to be Luis Rodriguez Cruz.

Ortiz-Colon was charged with felony shoplifting and conspiracy. Rodriguez Cruz and Reyes were both charged with shoplifting, conspiracy and obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.

Rodriguez Cruz was arraigned on his charges and released on $3,000 personal recognizance with a Third Division District Court date of June 1 and a Sixth Division District Court date of Aug. 24. Ortiz-Colon was arraigned and released on $2,000 personal recognizance with the same district court dates. Reyes was also released with a District Court summons.

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