Sterling Westly Freeman, 23, of 25 Oak St., arrested for shoplifting $63.98 of Claritin liqui-gels Dec. 24, told officers he had a cold and couldn't afford the medicine.
The theft was a bad decision, since Freeman, on parole for robbery, also couldn't afford to get arrested. The arrest violated his parole, sending him to the ACI.
At 4:04 p.m. that day, East Providence officers were called to Shaw's at 575 Taunton Ave. for a report of shoplifting. When they arrived, the store's loss prevention officer told them he'd witnessed Freeman stealing two boxes of the antihistamine.
When officers spoke to Freeman, he apologized for taking the drugs, saying he had a cold and didn't have the money for the medicine. Instead, he said, he wanted to spend the money on Christmas gifts. The loss prevention officer told officers he had video of Freeman taking the drugs, and that the store would press charges against him.
The officers arrested Freeman, charging him with shoplifting and taking him to East Providence Police headquarters, where he was later transferred to the ACI on the parole violation.