Police make arrest in theft of SUV with toddler in back seat

Blackstone Valley

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Woonsocket man was arrested Wednesday and charged with stealing a vehicle that had a 2-year-old girl in the back seat.

Derek Franklin, 35, appeared before a bail commissioner on a charge of larceny over $1,500 and was released on $10,000 personal recognizance, according to Woonsocket police.

The incident took place around 3:15 p.m. Monday outside of a store on Elm Street. Police said the girl’s mother had left the vehicle unlocked and running as she went inside the store.

Police responded and soon found the SUV a short distance away on Sweet Avenue, with the child inside and unharmed.

Using video footage and a tip from the public, police were able to identify Franklin as the suspect and obtain an arrest warrant.

He was later spotted outside of his home, located near the scene of the crime, and taken into custody without incident, police said.

Franklin is scheduled to appear in court for a pre-arraignment conference on Aug. 3.

The owner of the SUV, a 28-year-old Woonsocket woman, was also cited for leaving a motor vehicle unattended, according to police.

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