A hapless trio produced real-world evidence of criminals returning to the scene of the crime when Woonsocket Police responding to Carpenter Powder Products for a scrap metal theft May 14 discovered the alleged crooks' car and laid in wait.
At about 11:30 p.m., police were called to the business on Park East Drive by an employee who told them there had been several incidents of theft of scrap metal from behind the building. He said he suspected the theives would carry the material in barrels along paths and across power line clearings to a waiting vehicle on Park East Drive, according to Officer David Bibeault's report. The employee said that he had observed three men, dressed all in black removing barrels of scrap metal from the property into the woods.
Police followed the path to the power line clearing, finding vehicle tracks in the grass and a red, hand-wheeled dolly leaning against a tree. They also located a blue Toyota Solara coupe parked behind the building in a concealed spot, Bibeault reported.
Officer Sean Rochette was assigned to park nearby out of sight and keep an eye on the vehicle. At about 2:03 a.m., three men walked out of the woods and got into the vehicle, apparently not noticing Rochette, he reported.
Rochette called for backup and several cars from the morning platoon arrived to intercept the vehicle if the men attempted to leave. Rochette and two other officers approached the blue Toyota, finding the three men sleeping inside. The officers woke the men, later identified as William D. Fuentes, 24, of 60 Academy Ave., Providence, Douglas Nalls, 20, of 1064 Atwells Ave., Apt. 3rd, Providence, and Angel Torres, 20, of 113 Brook St., Apt. 1st, Woonsocket. The officers arrested them and searched the car, finding dark clothing including hooded sweatshirts, caps and gloves, in the trunk.
Rochette asked Fuentes why he had run from police, and he said he had been afraid because he'd been smoking marijuana. Rochette noted Fuuentes did not smell of marijuana. When Rochette asked him why all the sweatshirts they'd been wearing when they returned to the car were in the trunk, Fuentes did not provide an answer.
Each of the men were charged with larceny under $1,500 and conspiracy, misdemeanors.