A Providence police officer was scheduled for arraignment Friday after his arrest on charges of breaking and entering and larceny involving a company that distributes newspapers for The Providence Journal.
Officer Jesse Ferrell, a 19-year veteran of the department, is accused of breaking into a distribution center and taking materials that are usually delivered inside the newspaper to home-delivery customers.
"They’re inserts involving coupons and other materials that are distributed with the papers as the normal course, I believe, especially on the weekend deliveries," said Providence Deputy Chief of Police Captain Thomas Oates.
Why would anyone want to steal newspaper inserts? According to Oates, investigators are still trying to figure that out.
"I’m told they do have a dollar value just as raw materials," Oates said. "And obviously if there’s coupons in them, there’s value to those coupons.That's part of the ongoing investigation."
Ferrell was arrested on Friday morning when police say investigators were doing surveillance on the distribution facility.
"He didn’t expect to see us this morning, and we certainly, when we initially began the investigation, were surprised of this type of activity, which is certainly something we are not going to tolerate," said Oates.
Ferrell has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.