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  • Hoxie Gallery exhibit 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Westerly

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  • Burglary suspect held; another escapes

    WAKEFIELD — A former New York man suspected in the theft of an ATM machine and two other break-ins is being held on $60,000 bail after police captured him in the woods near Moonstone Beach Road. The authorities said his accomplice escaped despite an intensive search with dogs.

    The man, Luis Ortiz Correa, 25, appeared Tuesday before 4th Division District Court Judge Madeline Quirk and said that he was homeless. He was flanked by Charlestown and South Kingstown police officers, who described the felony charges against him: two felony counts of breaking and entering and a misdemeanor count of malicious damage to property, brought by the Charlestown police, and a breaking and entering count from South Kingstown.

    Correa was arrested by South Kingstown police early Monday after a police pursuit of a stolen red pickup truck reported to have been involved in a break-in of the Seaview Marketplace on Matunuck Beach Road. After receiving a call at 3:30 a.m., a patrol officer saw the truck and prepared to question the occupants. The officer said the operator drove off as he approached the vehicle, a 2008 Ford that was stolen from North Kingstown.

    Later, the officer said the truck was found flipped over in a field near Moonstone Beach Road. Police said Correa fled into the woods, but was apprehended about two hours later. His alleged accomplice escaped.

    South Kingstown Sgt. Mark Healy said Correa stole an ATM machine and two registers from the market by prying open a side door and moving the goods into the waiting truck. Police, including Charlestown Lt. Michael Paliotta, said they had surveillance videos showing two men committing the theft.

    Meanwhile, at 3 a.m., Charlestown police were responding to a burglary alarm at Kingston Pizza on Old Post Road, where they discovered the building had been broken into and the register entered. Nothing was taken, Paliotta said. Three hours later, the owners of Hungry Haven Restaurant on South County Trail reported that their restaurant had been damaged during a break-in and that $150 had been taken. Paliotta described the upstairs of the restaurant as being ransacked. He said surveillance film showed two men in masks in the building.

    Paliotta asked that Correa be held on $40,000 surety bail on the Charlestown charges, while Healy recommended a continued $20,000 bail on the South Kingstown charge. Quirk agreed, and Correa would have to post $6,000 in cash to be released.

    “I would like to make bail,” he told the judge. He said he needed to go to New York to earn enough money to pay for his attorney and court costs. He said he didn’t want to get into any more trouble and assured the judge he’d be back.

    Quirk said she considered Correa a “flight risk” and cited his past criminal history, which included prison time, in her decision to hold him on bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 14.

    Paliotta said at least two other breaks-ins that occurred around the same time are being investigated by Charlestown police.



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