Rose helps stop suspected EP car thief


EAST PROVIDENCE — A local politician, in this instance performing as a private citizen, helped break up a would-be car theft ring at a city dealership early Monday, Aug. 25.

Tommy Rose, owner of an area towing company and the Ward 3 rep on the East Providence City Council, played a key role in thwarting the thief at the Warren Avenue Auto Sales dealership located at the corner of Warren Avenue and Brown Street.

Mr. Rose, like several residents of the adjacent neighborhood in recent days, said he noticed a tow truck exiting the currently closed dealership with a car last Wednesday, Aug. 20. But as was the case with the others, he thought the towing service was working with the proprietors of the lot. Two days later, however, one of the dealership owners, Lewis Quatrucci, discovered the theft. Mr. Quatrucci proceeded to alert friends through social media and word-of-mouth his dealership had been the victim of a robbery.

Not satisfied with his initial poach, the suspect returned to the location Sunday night and cut the lock to the back gate. He returned Monday with a flat bed tow truck and attempted to take another vehicle from the scene when Mr. Rose passed by. He saw the act taking place, called police, pulled into the lot, stopped his SUV in the entrance and blocked the suspect from leaving the scene until law enforcement arrived.

"We first discovered it Friday morning," Mr. Quatrucci said. "I spent the whole weekend spreading it around on social media. Tommy saw it. He was keeping an eye out for us. He really did save the day."

According to Mr. Quatrucci, the suspect "clipped" at least 10 cars from Warren Avenue Auto Sales in the last few days. Mr. Quatrucci said a neighbor to the lot told him the same suspect had attempted to steal his Chevrolet Camaro while another said he also tried to swipe a Nissan Maxima. Five of the cars have been traced to a North Providence address through the log of the suspect tow driver.

"These are the kinds of things you have to keep an eye out for," Mr. Rose said of his good deed. "We can't have this type of stuff happening in our city."


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.