SOUTH HAVEN | A security camera installed outside a South Haven home paid off Monday as it caught images of a teenager who stole the resident's purse out of a car.
The woman told authorities she went to her car about 5:15 a.m. Monday to retrieve her purse and discovered it was missing.
She then went inside and watched the footage captured by the camera and saw a male walking up to her cars.
She said she recognized him as a teenage neighbor.
The woman told Porter County investigators she guessed the thief threw the purse into a garbage can near her home. The woman and her daughter checked garbage cans and found the purse in a garbage can near the home of the teen.
Officers went to the home, and questioned the teen, with his mother present. He initially denied involvement, but then confessed when officers told them they were about to check the footage from the security camera. The teen told officers he took the purse, but didn't take anything out of it. But when investigators patted him down they found $73 in cash in his pocket. The teen eventually told officers that money had been taken from the purse.
The teen was arrested and taken to the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center. He will be charged with felony theft.
All of the woman's belongings were returned to her.