As reported by Gregory Smith in the October 23, 2013 edition of the Providence Journal, two (2) Warwick men have been arrested and charged with attempted felony larceny and vandalism. The men are accused of trying to steal brass handrails from Waterplace Park in Providence. An eyewitness saw the men cutting the handrails and began to record them. The witness then called police.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-41-1, larceny is defined as any person who shall steal any money, goods, or chattels, or any note of the general treasurer of this state for the payment of money, any bank bill, any certificate of any bank or of any public officer or corporation securing the payment of money to any person or certifying it to be due, any certificate of stock in any corporation, any order entitling a person to money or other article, or any bill of exchange, bill of lading, railroad ticket, bond, warrant, obligation, bill, or promissory note for the payment of money, or other valuable property, or any record or paper belonging to any public officer, or any writ, warrant, or other legal process, or any book or part of one containing an account, any receipt for money or other article paid or delivered, any adjustment or document of any kind relating to the payment of money or delivery of any article, any indenture of apprenticeship, or any deed, covenant, indenture, or assurance whatsoever respecting any property, real or personal, shall be deemed guilty of larceny.
Although the men are charged with attempted larceny, it has the same legal impact as larceny. Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 11-41-6, whoever attempts to commit larceny by doing any act toward the commission of the offense, but fails in its perpetration, shall, unless otherwise provided, suffer the same punishment which might have been inflicted if the attempted offense had been committed.
The penalties if convicted include imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both. The crime is charged as a felony due to the value of the property stolen. Property worth over $1,500.00 is a felony, property worth $1,500.00 or under is a misdemeanor. The handrails are valued at $1,600.00.
Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 11-44-1, vandalism is defined as any person who shall willfully and maliciously or mischievously injure or destroy or write upon, paint, or otherwise deface the property of another, or obstruct the use of the property of another, or obstruct another in the prosecution of his or her lawful business or pursuits. The penalties if convicted include a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, and shall be liable to make restitution for the injury or damage caused. Every person convicted of a first offense under this section shall be required to perform up to one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution work.