ST. JOHN | A mother called police after she recognized her 18-year-old son in surveillance photos published on The Times' website Wednesday morning of a suspect wanted in connection with a string of thefts.
Zachary Bell was arrested at his parents’ St. John home about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday and taken to the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, said St. John police Detective Steve Flores.
According to police, the thefts from unlocked vehicles occurred early Sunday near 84th and Christopher Drive. The suspect took cash, credit and gift cards and a .45 caliber handgun, Flores said.
Still photos from the surveillance video that accompanied the online story showed the suspect using a stolen Speedway gift card at the Speedway gas station, 8575 Wicker Ave., later Sunday morning.
A search of the parents’ home did not locate the handgun, Flores said.
The case remains under investigation and formal charges will be forwarded to the Lake County prosecutor’s office within the next 48 hours, he said.
“Without your help and without the article going in so quick, we would not have been able to get him into custody this fast,” Flores said in an email.