NEW BEDFORD - The quick eye of a police officer thwarted a shoplifting attempt in New Bedford Tuesday.

New Bedford Police say Detective Gene Fortes was driving an unmarked cruiser on Mount Pleasant Street shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday when he saw two males place a backpack under a tree near Advance Auto Parts. Detective Fortes checked the backpack, which was empty, and entered the store.

Detective Fortes found one of the men concealing a large box in his sweatpants. It was determined he was trying to steal a box of tools valued at $79.99. The man was placed under arrest by Detective Fortes.

The second male was not seen participating in any criminal activity.

The suspect, Edgar Irizarry, 30, of New Bedford, is charged with shoplifting, furnishing a false name/social security number. Irizarry also had a warrant out for his arrest.