An apparent career criminal with a 14-page "rap sheet" who was probably casing a Barrington business earlier in the day for a break-in was arrested early Friday morning, Dec. 7, by police officers on routine patrol.
“There is no doubt these officers prevented a smash and grab,” said Barrington Police Chief John LaCross of a possible breaking and entering of a local store.
James R. Radler, 50, with a last known address of East Boston but who was staying at a Ramada Inn in Middletown, was stopped while driving on County Road near the RIPTA park and ride at about 3:30 am by Patrol Officer Walter Larson, said LaCross. There was no light over the license plate.
“It was a great stop,” said the police chief.
Larson immediately called for backup and Patrol Officer Mark Haddigan went to the scene.
Radler was discovered to be wearing black sweat pants over jeans and a Navy blue sweatshirt over a shirt during a pat down, LaCross said. He was carrying an expired Vermont driver’s license and an Idaho identification card. He seemed nervous and jittery.
The officers also soon noticed a battering ram topped with a towel in the backseat and other typical burglary tools -- a mallet, pliers, ski mask and gloves -- in the vehicle. A towel would blunt the sound when the battering ram hit a door, LaCross said. And it would leave no marks.
A check with the national crime database revealed that Radler had an outstanding warrant in Washington state from 2007 for forgery. He also was released from an Idaho prison last spring, LaCross said.
Radler’s arrest record shows a history of convictions for robbery, forgery, larceny, bank fraud, stealing a car, and being a fugitive from justice that dates back many years. He also has used a variety of aliases over the years.
“He has a huge criminal record,” said LaCross.
A further investigation indicates that Radler was identified as a man who had entered a Barrington store earlier in the day, probably to case the place, LaCross said. He appeared very suspicious to the store owner.
Radler claimed he was in Barrington early Friday morning after visiting a woman friend in Warren, LaCross said, although he never gave officers a name.
Police seized the burglary tools and the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta he was driving as evidence. He was taken to the police station and charged with possession of burglary tools and driving without a license.
Radler was taken to District Court on Friday morning to face the Barrington charges. He could not make the $5,000 bail with surety or $500 and remains locked up in the ACI.
Washington state will not extradite him on the warrant, LaCross said.