Caught on camera: Man steals hanging plant

A Central Falls man is accused of stealing a hanging plant from a hardware store in Glocester, and police said it was caught on camera.

Glocester police arrested 41-year-old Robert Tavares. They said he pleaded no contest Thursday to taking $40 worth of merchandise from the store in Chepachet.

Police said Tavares told them he needed a gift for his mother.

Surveillance video recorded Monday shows a car pulling up and a man jumping out and opening the back door. He walks toward the store and grabs a couple bags of fertilizer.

The video shows the man walking toward the camera and snatching a hanging spider plant, then running back to the car and leaving.

One of the workers noticed the plant was missing Tuesday morning and checked the video camera.

In addition to calling police, the owner decided to post the video on the store's website in hopes of catching the suspect.

It worked.

Police picked up Tavares at about 5:30 a.m. on Putnam Pike after recognizing his car from the footage.

The merchandise has been returned to Chepachet Hardware.