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Appeal of police sting verdict possible
Alexander Ramasci of Manchester was arrested last year for theft of lost or mislaid property during a Manchester Police sting operation at a South Willow Street shopping plaza. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
On Thursday, Alexander Ramasci was found innocent of a misdemeanor charge of theft of lost or mislaid property. Manchester police arrested him in a sting operation, after he removed a purse and merchandise from a shopping cart that police had placed in the T.J. Maxx parking lot on South Willow Street.
In his order, District Court Judge William Lyons said Ramasci could not be convicted because the purse and merchandise were not actually lost or mislaid.
Meanwhile, the New Hamsphire Liquor Commission did not return a telephone call about Ramasci's employment. He worked as a sales clerk for the Liquor Commission, but was told not to come into work after his arrest.
Police actions in the case have drawn criticism on-line, with many questioning the tactic or its need.
Willard described the sting operation as victim-oriented policing.
And he said shopping-cart thefts are a problem. Two months ago, an 84-year-old woman had her purse with $400 stolen from the produce section of a supermarket, he noted. Police made an arrest after publicizing a surveillance photo of the theft.
"Sorry, but being direct sometimes is necessary, and I'm not the only one who feels that way," he said.
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