WARWICK, RI — A West Warwick man arrested by local police on March 29 for an attempted theft of construction steel from a state work zone also faces charges of violating the terms set a day earlier in a case where he tried to steal a soda vending machine from Alpine Auto Wash.
Robert R. Negrotti, 50, of 11 Bettez St., Apt. 1, was scheduled for arraignment on April 9 on the most recent case, and for a violation hearing on the vending machine case.
According to police reports, Ofc. Damian J. Andrews responded to the intersection of Routes 2 and 117 on March 29 at 12:30 a.m., where he found Negrotti’s pickup truck parked under the bridge with its hazard lights blinking. Negrotti was wearing a safety vest and “looked to be a worker for that construction zone,” Andrews wrote.
Negrotti was also handling corrugated steel A-frame, typically used to side bridges, reported Andrews, who added that Negrotti said he thought it was “just plain scrap metal.”
Even though “(h)e was never released from scene,” Negrotti drove away from the scene, wrote Andrews. The officer later caught up with Negrotti, and found through a check of his identity that Negrotti had been caught trying to take the vending machine 10 days earlier.
After contacting state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and confirming that they wanted to press charges, police issued one misdemeanor count of attempted larceny against Negrotti. DOT officials estimated the value of the steel at $150, Andrews noted in his report.
The day before, on March 28, Negrotti had pleaded no contest before Kent County District Court Judge Christopher K. Smith to the larceny charge stemming from his arrest on March 19 for attempting to take the soda machine from the car wash at 1271 Warwick Ave.
Smith filed that case, according to online court records, meaning Negrotti could have petitioned to have the case expunged after a year if he did not get arrested again.
Because of the construction zone arrest, Negrotti could be sentenced to up to a year in prison or a $500 fine, or both, for the attempted vending machine theft.
No further information on either case had been posted on the Rhode Island judiciary website by the time this article was published.
Update, April 16, 10 a.m.: The terms set in the soda machine theft (filing the case for a year and a no-trespass order) were kept the same by Judge Joseph Ippolito Jr., according to online court records. In a separate hearing, Ippolito sentenced Negrotti to a one-year suspended sentence and one year’s probation for the attempted theft of the metal from the construction site.