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WPD Facebook Photos Lead to Thief’s Arrest

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 — On Aug. 8, Officer Jake Reddy was called to 24 Universal Blvd., Best Buy, for a report of a man who had shoplifted $159.99 in electronics from the store Aug. 6, later identified from a photo on the Warwick Police Facebook page, and arrested.

On Aug. 8, Reddy spoke with the store manager, who told him the thief had removed an  Apple Smart Folio worth $59.99 from its package and a Magsafe battery pack worth $99.99 from its package, pocketing both items and leaving the store without paying for them. The manager provided video proof of the theft, according to Reddy’s report, which the officer forwarded to WPD detectives.

Det. Christian Vargas was assigned the case and performed a search of the shoplifter’s photo with no results. Next, Vargas posted the photo and several others to the Warwick Police Facebook page, asking for leads, on Sept. 27, according to the detective’s report. By 3:30 p.m. that day, a woman called to inform him the person in the photo was Thomas Delmastro.

Vargas did a routine check on the name and found a record on the man, including a photo with his DMV picture, and identified him as the shoplifter in the video from Best Buy. A short time later, Vargas received a call from an anonymous man, who asked to speak with Vargas and left his number. The number matched one that Thomas Delmastro had left on the Warwick Police Department Facebook page that day asking police to contact him.

Vargas spoke with the man on Sept. 30, and Delmastro denied stealing at first, then asked if he could pay for the stolen items. Finally, he agreed to meet Vargas at WPD headquarters, 99 Veterans Memorial Drive, Vargas reported. At headquarters, Delmastro admitted to the theft.  He said he had made a mistake and had no excuse for it.

Vargas arrested Delmastro and charged him with larceny, under $1,500.


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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