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JPD Second-in-Command Stops Attempted Copper Theft

Johnston Police Deputy Chief David DeCesare pursued a Providence man on foot after the suspect tried to cut copper piping from a transmission tower owned by WPRO radio.

charged a Providence man with attempted larceny over $500 and vandalism/malicious injury to property after Deputy Chief David DeCesare chased him on foot through a wooded area on Apr. 25.

According to police reports, an engineer for WPRO called Johnston Police headquarters to report a person cutting copper pipes at the back of the radio tower off Ipswich Street, near Morgan Avenue.

As Ptlm. Adam Parkinson was heading to the scene, DeCesare reported over the radio that he was in a foot chase with the suspect, later identified as Jason A. Delellis, 40, of 131 Pocassett Ave., Providence.

DeCesare had arrived at the main building earlier and spoken with the engineer, who said he'd a man suspended from the tower and using a handsaw to cut the piping.

After seeing Delellis hanging from the tower, DeCesare reported that Delellis saw him and fled into the woods behind the former 1025 Club on Plainfield Street.

DeCesare called in his location, and Capt. Raymond Skomin and Lt. Richard Norato went to the area of 47 Morgan Ave., Delellis's apparent destination.

As Skomin watched the wooded area, he reported that he saw a man wearing a white t-shirt and jeans “lurking” near the dumpster behind the condominium complex at 47 Morgan Ave.

Skomin reported that he got out of his vehicle, approached the man, and asked him if he lived at the condominium complex.

After he told Skomin he lived there, according to police reports, Delellis also claimed he was throwing away newspapers, then said he was waiting for a ride.

Skomin described Delellis as sweating, with his face and hands cut and scratched, and his pants covered in dirt. Norato placed Delellis in the back of a police cruiser while the Skomin went in search of Delellis's other clothing.

DeCesare then emerged from the woods, and after Skomin told him he'd detained a suspect, identified the man in the police cruiser as the suspect hed been chasing.

The officers reported that they followed foot impressions into the woods and found the black and blue flannel shirt tucked into a pair of rocks, along with a set of pliers and a pair of gloves.

Delellis was arraigned at police headquarters and released on $5,000 personal recognizance until a court date to be scheduled.

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