NORTHVILLE TWP., Mich. (WJBK) - After more than a dozen vehicles were burglarized in a Northville Township subdivision, one of the stolen items led police to a suspect's location.
"I just went balistic," said victim Phil Marsalese. "I couldn't believe this happened, especially in Northville."
Marsalese, 17, admits he forgot to lock his car Monday night but he never imagined he would become a victim of a brazen burglar who broke into multiple cars on and near Sutters Street.
Marsalese didn't notice someone rifled through his personal items and stole his iPhone until he got out of school and work Tuesday afternoon. He pulled up their home security video, spotted the bandit in action and called police.
"He came across the street and my car was unlocked and so he opened it like it was his. Then our motion light came on. He put his hood on and sat in the car like it was his, and then just took everything," he said.
Video shows inside the car, the suspect flips on the interior light. Police say that's when he took pictures of Marsalese's ID and credit cards and then took off with his phone.
Chief Todd Mutchler says the suspect stole from 13 out of 15 cars he broke into that same night. All of the vehicles were left unlocked.
"He was going through, checking car doors and taking exactly what he wanted," he said. "Sort of a new twist on this particular type of crime. Individuals are taking pictures of identification, and not just taking the identification."
Surveillance cameras picked up images of the crook, but it was actually Marsalese's cell phone that led the western Wayne County response team to their suspect.
Marsalese activated his Find My iPhone app and officers tracked his phone to a house on Warren near Evergreen in Detroit. There officers found their man with the iPhone inside his pocket.
Police arrested the 25-year-old man, who we are told is now awaiting charges.
Police are still working to collect evidence before charging the suspect..
They believe others may be involved. If you have any information, call Northville Township police.