Police: Rhode Island raid connected to $90K diaper heist

A raid conducted at a vacant storefront in Providence, Rhode Island, Feb. 16, 2017 turned out to be connected to the theft of $90,000 worth of diapers. (WPRI)
A raid conducted at a vacant storefront in Providence, Rhode Island, Feb. 16, 2017 turned out to be connected to the theft of $90,000 worth of diapers. (WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A raid conducted at a vacant storefront in Providence, Rhode Island, Thursday morning turned out to be connected to the theft of $90,000 worth of diapers.

Eyewitness News cameras rolled as investigators brought out numerous boxes from the storefront on Smith Street and loaded them onto a truck.

Rhode Island diaper heist
A raid conducted at a vacant storefront in Providence, Rhode Island, Feb. 16, 2017 turned out to be connected to the theft of $90,000 worth of diapers. (WPRI)

According to Rhode Island State Police, the diapers were destined for the Amazon distribution center in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Detectives recovered about 800 boxes of diapers on Thursday, police said, while an additional 1,200 boxes had yet to be found.

Two people were arrested and a third person was being sought.

Aubrey Bettis, 59, and Damon Martin, 41, were charged with larceny over $1,500 and conspiracy. Martin was also charged with receiving stolen goods.

According to police, Bettis was hired by the owner of the delivery truck to drive the load of diapers from Pennsylvania to Fall River last Thursday. He instead allegedly sold them once he got to Rhode Island and told the truck’s owner he was not making the delivery and that the truck could be picked up in West Greenwich.

The owner contacted state police after locating the empty truck in a motel parking lot.

Upon learning that some of the diapers were being stored at the vacant storefront, detectives obtained a search warrant and conducted the raid at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

Police said each box contained about 100 diapers and sold for around $40.

There was a sign on the building for “Repair Zone RI” advertising phone repairs. When Eyewitness News called the phone number on the sign, it was disconnected.

The windows to the store were covered in newspapers.