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Video Surveillance Foils Governor Francis Inn Smart Phone Thief

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

WARWICK, RI — Warwick Officer Adam Arico arrested a Governor Francis Inn regular at the man’s Wellington Avenue home June 15 at 4:18 p.m. after the man, apparently unaware of video surveillance of the bar, stole a waitress’s momentarily unattended cell phone June 15.

Arico arrived at the Inn and spoke with the waitress at about 4:18 p.m. July 15. He spoke with the waitress, who said she had left her phone, an Iphone 7 valued at about $700, on the bar near the cash register during her shift, then returned to find it missing. She and the staff at the Inn were not able to locate the Iphone, and had no clues to its location until reviewing video footage of the bar during the time she had lost the device.

The video showed a man, whom the waitress and the restaurant owner, Arthur Legalt recognized as a regular of the Inn, Raymond Tillinghast, 73, of 100 Wellington Ave. In the video Tillinghast is visible pocketing the phone after the waitress walked away.

Arico viewed the footage, then compared the man’s image with information at the RI DMV, confirming Tillinghast’s identity and locating his address.

At Tillinghast’s house, Arico found the man’s car, the hood of which was still warm to the touch, and found the man wearing the same clothing, jeans and a light colored button-down short sleeved dress shirt, as shown in the video.

Arico questioned Tillinghast about the missing phone, finally confronting the man with the news that he had been recorded taking the device. Tillinghast continued to deny the accusation despite the revelation of video footage of the theft. Arico left, then obtained an arrest warrant for Tillinghast after double checking his identity.

Arico returned to Tillinghast’s home June 19 at 7:36 p.m., with officer Aaron Kay, finding him in the back yard, standing in the deep end of his pool. Arico arrested Tillinghast, and transported him to Warwick Police Headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive. Arico charged him with Larceny under $1,500.

Tillinghast called for a ride and left the station.


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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