Suspects plead not guilty to snow plow thefts

John Lyons and Jason Lehman

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Two men accused of stealing snow plows from the city of Cranston faced a judge on Friday.

Jason Lehman, 42, of Warwick, and John Lyons, 48, of Providence, pleaded not guilty to seven charges, including larceny and conspiracy.

The charges stem from two incidents last year in which two trucks with plows were stolen from Cranston Stadium and two more were taken from Park View Middle School a few days later.

Cranston detectives said they learned of similar incidents in Providence, Smithfield, and North Attleboro. Surveillance video and other leads led them to Lehman and Lyons.

In court, prosecutors said the pair has been arrested a combined 52 times.

“Mr. Lehman has a full-time job, he takes care of two of his own children, plus his girlfriend’s children. He lives with his parents,” said his attorney, Richard James. “This is not the guy with the time to do this many criminal acts.”

The four vehicles have since been recovered but the snow plows were never located.

Cranston Police Captain Karen Guilbeault called the suspects a “two-man crime wave.”

“It’s just good, old-fashioned police work that solved this crime,” Guilbeault added.

The judge ordered Lehman and Lyons held on $20,000 surety bail since they both have lengthy criminal records and outstanding bench warrants.

It was also learned in court that Lehman is facing similar larceny charges out of Johnson, North Kingstown, and Rhode Island State Police.

Both men are due back in court in February.