Watch CBS News

Hidden Air Tags help investigators find serial plant thief

Hidden Air Tags help investigators track down serial plant thief
Hidden Air Tags help investigators track down serial plant thief 02:04

Hidden Air Tags helped investigators track down a plant thief accused of stealing $8,000 worth of items. 

Newport Beach Police said the suspect hauled off trees, plants, decorative pots and even pumpkins from Roger's Gardens before they caught up with the burglar with a green thumb. After catching the thief on their security cameras, employees like director of operations Michael Sullivan became obsessed with catching the man. 

"It was frustrating because we knew it was happening and we couldn't stop it due to the fact that our security cameras couldn't pick up the license plate," said Sullivan. 

Sullivan said that since the robberies happened at night, the lack of light would blur out the license plate.

Authorities struggled to catch the burglar. Police staked out the nursery but could never cross paths with the thief. Frustrated, Sullivan decided to plant 8 Air Tags in the trees and shrubs at Roger's Gardens. His novel idea paid off a week later when he finally got a ping. 

Newport Beach police followed the tracker to Irvine and found the stolen goods decorating the front yard of 53-year-old Michael David Meek on suspicion of grand theft. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.