By Beth Germano

MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Alexander Ramasci calls it a misunderstanding and a mistake. But it’s left him charged with theft.

It began on Monday when he purchased a Christmas present at the Game Stop at the Mall of New Hampshire in Manchester. When the 23 year old returned to his car he noticed an unattended shopping cart in the parking lot.

“There was a purse and a bag. I wasn’t sure of the contents of the bag.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

Turns out the items were intentionally placed there by police as a part of a sting to nab holiday shoplifters.

But Ramasci tells WBZ-TV he picked up the items and placed them in his trunk with the sole purpose of taking them home and then finding the rightful owner.

“My mother found wallets in the past. She knows to look at a license and find the address and return it to the person especially at this holiday season,” he said.

But police saw something else and pulled Ramasci over minutes after he drove away. He says they accused him of dealing drugs in the parking lot.

“I got out they were frisking me, I said I did not do anything like that and showed them the game I purchased.”

Police found the items in the trunk and arrested him.

“ It was one thing if I saw the purse in someone’s car, smashed the window and grabbed it,” he said. “I bust my hump to work everyday to better my life. I’m not a criminal,” he said.

Police say the property left in the cart had markings and other indicators showing it was not abandoned property. Ramasci says he now wishes he didn’t take matters into his own hands.

“I guess the smartest thing would have been to take the items into the store, but could I have trusted the store clerk I was giving the items to,” he said.

He has a court date on Friday where he plans to begin his effort to fight the charges. He worries about losing his job which is now part time with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, but says he had an interview next week for a full time position.


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