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Cops Bust Baby Formula Thief

Middletown man with narcotics arrest record charged with shoplifting $80 worth of formula from Shaw's Supermarket on Taunton Avenue.

A Middletown man, 32, with several narcotics arrests faces a charge of shoplifting baby formula from an East Providence supermarket last Saturday, Dec. 15. 

Vincent M. Slaninka Jr., of 8 Halsey St., was arrested by East Providence police outside the Shaw’s Supermarket on Taunton Avenue around 8 pm. He reportedly had just discarded a bag filled with five jars of baby formula worth $80 in a trash can.

A Shaw’s security officer said Slaninka was observed on a video camera placing the baby formula in the bag and then leaving the store without paying for it. He allegedly was seen dropping the baby formula in the trash can, where police officers retrieved the merchandise.

Slaninka was searched and found to be carrying a syringe often used by heroin users. He was charged by police with shoplifting and trespassing; there was also a outstanding bench warrant for his arrest.

Slaninka was taken to the ACI after being charged. A police spokesman said baby formula is often swiped by drug users to be resold to unscrupulous owners of other stores for cash because of its resale value.

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