SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston man, who for 15 years was a member of the city’s police department, was arrested in Smithfield over the weekend.
According to Smithfield police, Carmine Giarrusso is accused of stealing from unlocked vehicles outside Saint Philip Church on Putnam Pike.
Police said they responded to the church around 8:30 a.m. Sunday for reports of a man going through vehicles in the parking lot.
An employee of the church, who asked to not be identified, said he witnessed a man going through cars while walking a dog.
Giarrusso, 56, was located by police in the parking lot and taken into custody on a charge of receiving stolen goods. Police said he was found to be in possession of a stolen wallet and more than 50 assorted gift cards with values ranging from $50 to $200.
Giarrusso was issued a summons to appear in court on Jan. 15.
Smithfield police noted that Giarrusso matches the description of a suspect in similar thefts reported earlier in the week.
In a statement Monday, the church said people who participated in a Mass on Dec. 23 and funeral Masses on Dec. 28 and 29 reported that their belongings were missing from their vehicles, which they had left unlocked.
Police also said they’re working with neighboring departments who are investigating reports of similar crimes.
According to Cranston police, Giarrusso was an officer with their department from 1987-2002.