Report of Stolen Headlights Leads Johnston Police to Theft Arrest

While investigating an unrelated case, Johnston Police learned of the theft of electrical components from a work site, and found the suspect.


charged a Cranston man with felony larceny after officers responded to an unrelated report of theft of headlights and electrical components from a utility truck.

Ptlm. Adam Parkinson reported that he went to the area of 648 Central Avenue on July 26 at about 9:30 am and spoke with MJ Electric foreman Derek Martin, who said that he had discovered the headlights missing from a utility truck that morning. Martin also said several pieces of electrical equipment were missing.

Detectives processed the truck for possible evidence, and while he was on the scene, Parkinson wrote, Martin told him of another suspected theft from the company.

According to Parkinson, Martin said that he'd recently learned of the apparent theft of five dead-end bodies, 2.5-ft.-long steel rods used in high-tension electrical work.

Martin said the rods, valued at $150 each, had been taken from a work site off Green Earth Avenue near the Central Landfill, Parkinson reported.

Later that day, Det. Anthony Sasso reported that he received 11 photos of the stolen electrical equipment from a supervisor at MJ Electric. Sasso wrote that he returned to the Central Avenue work site and spoke with Martin, who confirmed that the photographed materials were the same ones that had been stolen.

Det. Thomas Dwyer reported that he and Sasso then went to J&S Scrap Metal and showed photos of the equipment to an employee there.

The employee "brought us over to a shopping carriage full of electrical equipment which matched the description" that Martin had provided.

Dwyer wrote that the J&S employee produced an invoice for $101 paid to Jonathan Silva of Cranston. The detectives also reviewed video footage that showed Silva's red Ford truck in the scrap yard, and Silva entering the building.

According to Dwyer's report, he called Silva at about 1:30 pm and left a message for Silva to contact the police department. Silva returned Dwyer's call at about 3:45 pm and said he would report to police headquarters.

After Silva arrived at about 5 pm, he told Dwyer that he had been fishing behind the FedEx building on Green Earth Avenue when he "observed a bunch of scrap metal in the woods," according to Dwyer's report.

Silva also said he "did not believe the articles belonged to anybody," Dwyer wrote.

Officers formally arrested Silva on a felony charge of larceny over $1,500 and released him until an Aug. 8 court date in Third District Court, Warwick.

Dwyer wrote that Silva had not been in the area of Central Avenue where the headlight theft had occurred.


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