Rutland man, caught on camera, arrested for larceny
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | May 04,2013
BRATTLEBORO — A Rutland man was arrested in Brattleboro after his clear picture taken by a surveillance camera during the robbery of a gas station was posted on social media sites.
Robert P. Johnston, 27, was arrested at a Putney Road motel and charged with stealing $160 from the Shell station on Canal Street on Monday night, according to court documents.
Johnston was on furlough and considered on escape status, for a similar conviction, said Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Steve Brown. He was arraigned Wednesday in Brattleboro criminal court.
Brown said Johnston had been convicted in Bennington County for a similar offense in 2012. He has earlier convictions for forgery in Rutland County, he said, and as a result he was charged with being a habitual offender. Brown said he had six previous felony convictions.
Brown said Johnston had been staying at the America’s Best Motel on Putney Road, and once the surveillance photo from the Shell station was posted, Brattleboro police were able to go to the motel and arrest him.
“The community aided us, helped us, in apprehending him,” said the prosecutor.
Brown declined to say how the police made the arrest so quickly. The photos showed Johnston quite plainly.
Johnston is charged with larceny from a person, a felony, he said. Johnston allegedly reached into the open register and grabbed the money and no weapons were used.
Johnston is being held without bail on the larceny from a person charge, he said, but because he was on escape status, the Department of Corrections had placed a “hold” on him anyway.