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RIAG Charges Warwick RIDOT Backhoe Thief

A screenshot of the RI Superior Court website. The RI Attorney General has charged a RIDOT backhoe thief, a Warwick man.

PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island’s Attorney General has charged a Warwick man as the RIDOT backhoe thief in a January 2023 report.

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced the charge, made in Providence County Superior Court in May, this morning.

On May 17, 2023, the Office of the Attorney General charged Peter Dambruoso, 59, by way of criminal information, with one count of possession of a stolen vehicle and one count of driving without a valid license.

As alleged in the criminal information, the Rhode Island State Police initiated an investigation into the theft of a 1998 John Deer backhoe belonging to RIDOT from a facility in Johnson sometime on Jan. 3, 2023.

It is alleged that around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2023, a Providence Department of Public Works (DPW) employee witnessed Dambruoso operating a John Deer backhoe with State of Rhode Island plates in the back of a DPW building on Ernest Street in Providence. The witness confronted the defendant, asking him why he was operating a backhoe late at night, to which the defendant responded that he was a state employee.

The defendant then drove away in the backhoe and the witness followed him in a public works vehicle. The witness contacted the Providence Police while following the defendant, and shortly after, officers conducted a traffic stop of the backhoe and took Dambruoso into custody before transferring him into the custody of the State Police.

As alleged, after Rhode Island State Police transported the defendant to the State Police Barracks, the defendant agreed to provide a formal statement. In the statement, he described stealing the backhoe from a RIDOT facility in Johnston and driving it to the Rhode Island State House and parking it there for a couple of days before moving it again to the DPW building where he was confronted by the witness.

Dambruoso is scheduled for a pre-arraignment conference on Aug. 10, 2023, in Providence County Superior Court.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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