Rhode Island teen caught stealing from marked police car; Family - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rhode Island teen caught stealing from marked police car; Family not pleased with department's Facebook joke

Posted: Updated:
Shawn Bartis (Police Photo) Shawn Bartis (Police Photo)
Bartis and his decommissioned cop car (Photo: Facebook) Bartis and his decommissioned cop car (Photo: Facebook)
WARWICK, R.I. -

If you do something stupid, are people allowed to call you stupid? My dad, in his Red Forman wisdom, would say yes. Believe me I heard it a lot growing up. And not always so politely put. 

But let's be more specific. If you do something stupid, like trying to steal hubcaps and a siren control box from a marked police car, in front of an onlooking policeman, in the police station parking lot... are the police allowed to call you stupid? I think so. Red Forman thinks so. The brother of the 18-year-old Rhode Island man caught doing just that doesn't think so. 

"Shawn is a good kid," Shawn Bartis' older brother, Joe, told NBC 10 News. "He's still in high school. He made a mistake. Shawn has an obsession with certain things."

Shawn has an old police car according to his brother Joe, which would explain his obsession with the items he was supposedly trying to steal off an actual police car. 

However, Shawn's brother takes exception to the Warwick Police Department's public comments about the arrest of Bartis and his 17-year-old accomplice. 

The situation itself - detectives catching teenagers stealing items from a marked police car in their own parking lot - is funny enough, however, the Warwick Police Department decided to inject just a little additional humor in the situation when they recounted the story on their Facebook page with the Forrest Gump headline of "Stupid is as stupid does." They also attached Bartis' mugshot to the post. 

Bartis' brother was not pleased. 

"Saying he's stupid - you don't do things like that. You don't say things like that. It's totally wrong what they did," Joe told NBC 10.

*Side note: If I'm ever caught committing a stupid crime, I fully expect to be labeled as stupid. Thankfully, I haven't been caught yet... I mean... I haven't committed any stupid crimes... I mean I have committed any crimes. That's it. Sometimes I'm labeled as stupid and I didn't even commit a crime. You might be reading this article right now and thinking that. If so, I'm sorry. You can stop reading at any time. 

However, as I said, Shawn's brother - and apparently a few other folks online (Online. Where everyone is offended.) - didn't think it was funny. After some backlash, the police department deleted the Gump quote and added: ""In the interest of not besmirching a young man for his mistake, the picture and jocularity has been removed." 

It's 2016 now. Can we all make a resolution not to be offended by everything? That's so 2015. 

If nothing else, it gave the police department a great opportunity to use "besmirching" and "jocularity" in a sentence. Nice work! 

The department also said going forward, they will make sure anything posted to their page is "professional." Since when did quoting Forrest Gump become unprofessional? Stealing is unprofessional, and stealing from a marked police car is just... stupid. I'm sorry Shawn's brother, there's just no other word for it. 

And for hubcaps? For a Crown Vic? How much can those be worth? Hang on, I'll check. 

I found a set of 4 for $45 plus $15 S +H on Ebay. Pretty sweet deal Shawn! And buying those won't get you arrested or your face plastered on your local police department's Facebook page. 

"He was with the wrong person and he was doing the wrong thing," Joe told NBC 10. "Obviously, he was doing the wrong thing. But for the police to put him on the spot like that and throw his face out on Facebook is totally wrong. It's totally wrong. What's that going to do for his future?"

Shawn's imminent future includes facing misdemeanor charges of Larceny and Tampering with an Automobile. 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Disabled Spokane man mocked by Southwest Airlines employee on video

    Disabled Spokane man mocked by Southwest Airlines employee on video

    Friday, July 13 2018 9:45 PM EDT2018-07-14 01:45:30 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. 33-year-old Curtis Bonds was diagnosed with autism at the age of four and has recently started to become more independent. Bonds flew down to Los Angeles on Southwest Airlines for the Anime Expo. He was helping vendors set up for the event and says southwest airlines has been very accommodating to him in the past “I have been able to go up to the boarding attendant and say I have a disability I have a hard time standing in places for a long time and...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. 33-year-old Curtis Bonds was diagnosed with autism at the age of four and has recently started to become more independent. Bonds flew down to Los Angeles on Southwest Airlines for the Anime Expo. He was helping vendors set up for the event and says southwest airlines has been very accommodating to him in the past “I have been able to go up to the boarding attendant and say I have a disability I have a hard time standing in places for a long time and...

    >>
  • Post Falls man in critical condition after falling off inner tube on Spokane River

    Post Falls man in critical condition after falling off inner tube on Spokane River

    Sunday, July 15 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-07-15 04:08:05 GMT
    Backcountry vehicle travel restricted for trail grooming.Backcountry vehicle travel restricted for trail grooming.

    POST FALLS, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says a 40-year-old Post Falls man is in critical condition after falling off his inner tube on the Spokane River Saturday evening.  Deputies responded to the Corbin Park area for a report of a possible drowning at around 6:00 p.m. Witnesses say the man had fallen off his inner tube and not resurfaced.  

    >>

    POST FALLS, Idaho - The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says a 40-year-old Post Falls man is in critical condition after falling off his inner tube on the Spokane River Saturday evening.  Deputies responded to the Corbin Park area for a report of a possible drowning at around 6:00 p.m. Witnesses say the man had fallen off his inner tube and not resurfaced.  

    >>
  • Firefighter mauled by pit bull at scene of house fire

    Firefighter mauled by pit bull at scene of house fire

    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:47 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:47:12 GMT

    SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a Northern California firefighter was mauled in the face by a pit bull after helping extinguish a house fire.    The East Bay Times reports Alameda County Fire Battalion Chief John Whiting received "extremely severe facial damage" in the attack Saturday in San Leandro.    Division Chief Alan Evans says Whiting required extensive reconstructive surgery.

    >>

    SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a Northern California firefighter was mauled in the face by a pit bull after helping extinguish a house fire.    The East Bay Times reports Alameda County Fire Battalion Chief John Whiting received "extremely severe facial damage" in the attack Saturday in San Leandro.    Division Chief Alan Evans says Whiting required extensive reconstructive surgery.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Motorcyclist killed in crash on Sherman Pass

    Motorcyclist killed in crash on Sherman Pass

    Monday, July 16 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-07-16 05:58:31 GMT

    SHERMAN PASS, Wash.- A 53-year-old man was killed Sunday after a crash involving a motorcycle and transit van. The crash happened on State Route 20, just before 6pm on Sunday, about 14 miles east of Republic.

    >>

    SHERMAN PASS, Wash.- A 53-year-old man was killed Sunday after a crash involving a motorcycle and transit van. The crash happened on State Route 20, just before 6pm on Sunday, about 14 miles east of Republic.

    >>
  • NEW PHOTOS: Oregon woman rescued after spending a week at the bottom of a cliff

    NEW PHOTOS: Oregon woman rescued after spending a week at the bottom of a cliff

    Sunday, July 15 2018 11:28 PM EDT2018-07-16 03:28:00 GMT
    Courtesy Luanne SandvikCourtesy Luanne Sandvik

    MONTEREY COUNTY, Cali.- New photos have emerged showing the rescue of an Oregon woman, whose car plummeted over a cliff in California. Angela Hernandez, of Portland, is recovering in a hospital, after spending a full week at the bottom of a cliff. 

    >>

    MONTEREY COUNTY, Cali.- New photos have emerged showing the rescue of an Oregon woman, whose car plummeted over a cliff in California. Angela Hernandez, of Portland, is recovering in a hospital, after spending a full week at the bottom of a cliff. 

    >>
  • Spokane family keeps daughter's legacy alive with pet food donations

    Spokane family keeps daughter's legacy alive with pet food donations

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:53 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:53:17 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. -  It's been four years since Rory Fees took her own life at just 14 years old, but her friends are continuing to live Rory's Way. “Her friends are still involved in my life, and it just shows that Rory really meant a lot to them and we all miss her," said Rory’s mother, Jennifer Fees

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. -  It's been four years since Rory Fees took her own life at just 14 years old, but her friends are continuing to live Rory's Way. “Her friends are still involved in my life, and it just shows that Rory really meant a lot to them and we all miss her," said Rory’s mother, Jennifer Fees

    >>