Good Samaritan helps officers bust North Providence porch pirate

Police: Good Samaritan helps officers bust North Providence porch pirate


NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police have charged two suspects in connection with a series of package thefts throughout North Providence.


North Providence Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero told 12 News Nelson Ruiz and Stephanie Boucher were taken into custody Thursday afternoon.

Ruggiero said a man who was driving down Garfield Street noticed someone, later identified as Ruiz, get out of a car and steal a package off of a resident’s front porch.

Nelson Ruiz (Courtesy: North Providence Police Department)

The man not only called the North Providence Police Department to report it, but also followed the suspects’ vehicle until officers were able to pull it over on Mineral Spring Avenue, according to Ruggiero.

Ruggiero said the officers noticed a package addressed to someone who lives on Garfield Street in the backseat while speaking with Boucher, who was driving the car, and Ruiz.

There were also several other items that appeared stolen scattered across the backseat. Ruggerio said most of those items were either in unopened shipping packages or still had price tags on them.

“[Ruiz] admitted that he did jump out of the vehicle and stole a package,” Ruggiero said. “He had also mentioned that the other items in the vehicle were stolen throughout town.”

Both Boucher and Ruiz were taken into custody as a result. Ruiz has been charged with larceny of less than $1,500, while Boucher was charged with receiving stolen goods and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Ruiz is currently being held as a bail violator, according to court records. Boucher was granted $5,000 surety bond, though it’s unclear if she has posted it.

The stolen items range from clothing and beauty products to supplements and prescription dog food. The North Providence Police Department is now looking to return the items to their rightful owners.

“[The owners] have not been identified because a lot of the items … have already been taken out of the boxes [that had] their addresses on them,” Ruggiero said.

Ruggiero said the only one that had an address on it was the one taken from Garfield Street, which has since been returned. He estimates that Ruiz stole approximately 20 different packages from various residences across town.

Anyone who believes their package was stolen by Ruiz is asked to contact the North Providence Police Department by calling (401) 231-4533.

Those who call are asked to provide a detailed description of it and the retailer or business it was ordered from. Ruggiero urged residents to bring with them either a receipt or proof of purchase as well.

Meanwhile, Ruggiero said he’s grateful that a good Samaritan reported the theft and helped officers apprehend those responsible.

“We got lucky with the help of a motorist who decided to step up and help out,” Ruggiero said. “Not only did he observe [the theft] but he stayed behind them for quite a ways until [officers] located the vehicle.”

Ruggiero urged residents to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity.

“If you see something, say something,” he said. “We will do our best to to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”