Suspect tries to flee armed robbery in police cruiser
PROVIDENCE (WHDH) -- A thief did more than just rob a restaurant in Rhode Island, according to police. Investigators said he tried to get away in a police cruiser, but didn't get very far.
Police said it was around 11:00 p.m. Saturday when a customer entered Domino's Pizza on Pawtucket Ave in East Providence.
When he saw no employees in the front of the store, he became suspicious and called police.
When officers arrived, they discovered an armed robbery in progress, and said 25-year-old Justin Thomas was holding the workers against their will in the back of the store.
Thomas ran out the back and officers ran after him.
"Went through several yards, jumped at least 3 fences,” said Lt. Michael David, East Providence Police Department.
Police caught up with Thomas a few blocks away on Charles Street, where other officers had arrived in their vehicles.
One saw Thomas run behind a house, so he jumped out of his cruiser to go after him.
Police said Thomas came back around, jumped in the cruiser which was running and tried to get away. He slammed into three other cruisers that had also responded, doing serious damage to two of them.
Police arrested him and recovered his handgun and the money he allegedly stole.
"The employees, customer, our officers were all put in danger several times during the whole incident, we're lucky no one got hurt,” said Lt. David.
Victor Andrade lives near the Domino's.
"Good thing he was suspicious he could have left, and somebody could’ve got hurt,” said Andrade.
Police credit that customer who made the initial call.
"People like that take the time to give us a call otherwise we would have responded much later,” said Lt. David.
Instead police got their man...Thomas is facing several charges, including kidnapping and first degree robbery.
Employees working at the Domino's when the robbery happened said they couldn't comment on the situation, but were happy that everyone was okay.