WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The same widespread storm damage that presented misfortune for property owners – also provided a window of opportunity for criminals.
Tuesday’s storm not only ripped trees out of the ground and took down power lines, but it also left some houses and businesses vulnerable to crime.
In one case, a man said he came home to find that someone had broken into his home during the power outage.
When the storm knocked out power in a Warwick neighborhood, one man left his Fourth Avenue house to stay overnight with a friend who had power.
He came home later to find two of his things stolen.
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“Some cash and a really nice coin collection that he had going for a long time. That was precious to him,” said Mary O’Connor, the victim’s neighbor. “It’s terrible. You know, at times when things are going bad and people are out doing stuff to their house, it’s like, it’s not good.”
According to police, the thief, or thieves, broke into the home through the victim’s basement window and also tried to steal a Playstation 3 – but ultimately left without it.
“He’s usually home. He was gone that night. He took his dog with him,” O’Connor said. She said the victim believes the burglars may have seen him take his dog out of the home.
According to O’Connor, another neighbor saw the thief but could not catch up with the person.
“We did have a description of a person. The detectives are working very hard on that investigation right now,” said Col. Stephen McCartney of the Warwick Police Department.
Warwick police officials said officers worked overtime when the storm hit Tuesday morning – responding to many calls about downed trees and power lines.
“You’re dealing with all those problems. Traffic lights are all out. At the same time, we’re still dealing with normal police problems out there, so those problems need to be tended,” McCartney said. “So we really did have pretty much the entire force out there.”