Woonsocket man arrested for stealing car with toddler inside, mother cited


WOONSOCKET – The Woonsocket Police Department has arrested the man believed to have stolen a car on Monday, April 26 that had a two-year-old child inside.

Derek Franklin, 35, of Woonsocket was arrested for the alleged theft on Wednesday, April 28, according to a release from the department.

Officers were reportedly called to Mason Grocery on Elm Street in the city around 3:15 p.m. Monday afternoon for a call that a grey 2013 Dodge Journey had been stolen. Police were then advised that a 2-year-old girl was in the vehicle’s back seat at the time of the theft.

Responding officers located the stolen vehicle just a short distance away on Sweet Ave.

Since the vehicle theft, investigators had obtained various video footage from nearby businesses and residents and on Wednesday, “a credible tip and further information was developed leading to the identity of the suspect,” according to police.

Police obtained an arrest warrant for Franklin and he was later observed outside his residence, near the same grocery store. He was reportedly arrested without incident. He was charged with larceny over $1,500.

Franklin appeared before the District Court bail commissioner and released on $10,000 personal recognizance. He is expected to appear in Superior Court for a prearraignment conference on August 3.

The vehicle owner, Sophiann Higgins, 28, of Woonsocket was subsequently cited for leaving a motor vehicle unattended; a RITT violation.

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