Point of Contact for this Press Release: Captain Kevin M. Barry District "A" Commander (401) 444-1012
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, is requesting assistance from the public in the search of a subject wanted for two armed robberies committed in two Rhode Island communities during the early morning hours.
The Rhode Island State Police, Coventry Police, West Greenwich Police, Cranston Police and Warwick Police are actively attempting to locate a suspect who is alleged to have committed two armed robberies of convenience stores during the early morning hours of January 4, 2014.
At approximately 12:40AM, two suspects armed with handguns robbed the Shell gas station located on Pontiac Avenue in the City of Cranston. At approximately 1:40AM, the X-tra Mart convenience store located on Tiogue Avenue in the Town of Coventry was robbed by two individuals matching the description of the suspects from the earlier robbery. A description of the suspect vehicle was provided by the witnesses and broadcast to surrounding police departments. Shortly after the second robbery, officers from the Coventry Police Department and West Greenwich Police departments attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description provided by the witnesses. The suspect vehicle fled from the area after a brief motor vehicle pursuit. A short time later, State Troopers observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Route 95 before the operator lost control on the exit ramp to Route 117 in the city of Warwick, at which time both occupants fled into the woods. A handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle.
The investigation into the aforementioned robberies is ongoing and involves the Rhode Island State Police Detective Bureau, police departments from multiple jurisdictions in Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. The same suspects are believed to have committed similar robberies in Uxbridge and Grafton, Massachusetts. Detectives from the Massachusetts State Police and local police departments In Massachusetts have also joined this coordinated investigative effort.
An extensive multi-agency search is continuing today and includes State Police and Warwick Police K-9 units and assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing Section who provided a Massachusetts State Police helicopter equipped with a thermal imager. Shortly after the search began, one suspect was apprehended inside a local Dunkin Donuts in Warwick. The second suspect remains at large and may be armed. He is described as approximately 5'10" and was last seen wearing a black down jacket with the "North Face" logo, light grey or brown pants (possibly sweat pants) and brown shoes.
It is requested that the public immediately report any suspicious activity particularly in and around any outlying buildings on their property, as the suspect may seek refuge from the extreme cold weather conditions. If suspicious activity is observed, do not approach the area and dial 9-1-1.
Photographs taken from surveillance cameras at the Shell gas station provided by the Cranston Police Department can be viewed on the Rhode Island State Police website.