A Warren man has been charged with being the "meat bandit" in Barrington.
Jose E. Tavares, 42, of 65 Union St., was identified by a woman who left a confidential tip on a Barrington police phone line and a man who saw the woman’s post on Facebook about the police department seeking help in identifying the shoplifting suspect.
The man said he believed Tavares might be a man who was stealing meat and selling it to local social clubs.
Tavares was confronted by Warren police detectives at his apartment, said Barrington Police Chief John LaCross.
Now clean-shaven after wearing a mustached during the alleged theft, said LaCross, he was wearing a different jacket with the same emblem as on the jacket he reportedly wore when he walked out of the Shaw’s supermarket on Dec. 31 with pork tenderloins tucked inside the coat.
He had dropped several packages of steaks before leaving the store with the pork and escaping on a bicycle on the East Bay Bike Path.
Tavares admitted stealing the pork to Warren detectives, LaCross said. But he said he returned the meat to the supermarket.
He was given a date to appear in Barrington Municipal Court to face the shoplifting charge.