JPD Arrests Purse Theft Suspects

Rhode Island State Police assisted in the arrest of a Cranston man and a woman from Pawtucket on larceny and conspiracy charges.


Johnston Police reported the arrests of two suspects in a Nov. 18 purse theft from the Walgreen's Pharmacy on Atwood Avenue following their arrest by Rhode Island State Police officers.

James Novack Jr., of Cranston, and Amy Clements, of Pawtucket, face one count misdemeanor larceny, and Novack faces an additional charge of conspiracy after police say Novack admitted to helping Clements flee the scene of the theft.

Ptlm. Luca Lancellotti Jr. reported that he and another officer responded to the Walgreen's on Nov 18 at about 4:40 pm and spoke with the victim, who said she had just opened the trunk of her car when a woman approached and stole the purse from her shopping carriage.

Lancellotti noted that the victim provided the registration plate number for the vehicle that the woman entered before leaving the parking lot.

Officers then reviewed the surveillance footage from the pharmacy's video cameras and confirmed the victim's report, Lancellotti wrote.

After confirming that Novack was the likely driver of the vehicle, Lancellotti said the department sent out a notice seeking information on the car.

On Nov. 20, Dets. James Brady and Christopher DeCesare went to the State Police Wickford Barracks after troopers notified Johnston Police that they had Novack and Clements in custody.

Brady wrote that Novack admitted to being the driver of the car in the Walgreen's parking lot when Clements ordered him to stop, jumped out of the car, and took the victim's purse.

The purse and its contents — including a bank ATM card and credit card — were found in the car, Brady noted.

Det. Anthony Sasso, in a follow-up report, wrote that Novack and Clements confessed to using the credit card to buy a TV and other items "which were subsequently sold for narcotics."

Officers transported Clements to the Adult Correctional Institutions, Cranston, to be held on a probation violation until her arraignment on the new charges, and issued an arrest warrant for Novack.

Rhode Island State Police officers presented Novack for arraignment in Third District Court on Nov. 21 on one felony charge of fradulent use of a credit card and one misdemeanor charge of larceny under $1,500.

On Nov. 23, Novack surrendered to officers at the Johnston police station. He was released with a summons to appear in Third District Court, Warwick, on the Johnston larceny and conspiracy charges.

Clements had been serving three years' probation stemming after she pleaded no contest to two felony drug possession charges in April, 2012.

State Police charged Clements with felony charges of fradulent use of a credit card and drug possession, and one misdemeanor count of larceny, in addition to the Johnston midemeanor larceny charge.

Novack is due to appear for a felony screening on Jan. 7.

On Nov. 26, Clements pleaded no contest to the Johnston charge, and Judge Terence Houlihan Jr. sentenced her to 90 days in prison with 275 days suspended and 275 days' probation.

She is next due in court today for a determination of attorney hearing on the April drug charges.


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