Joshua Holmes might have gotten away with it, authorities say, if not for a mom with a video camera.
The teenager was arrested this week after a Warrenville woman caught him on video burglarizing her son's car, authorities said Wednesday.
It was the second time in about a week the vehicle was broken into while parked near the basketball courts at the Warrenville Park District's Recreation Center at 3S260 Warren Avenue.
About 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said, the victim's mother staked out the area and let her video camera roll as Holmes went to her son's car and took out $6.
She later turned over the recording to the authorities, who booked Holmes on a felony burglary charge and obtained a confession, police and prosecutors said.
"She took matters into her own hands," said Diane Dillow, executive director of the park district. "I felt bad we hadn't heard about (the burglaries) before. But it's nice to know it's taken care of."
Holmes, 17, of the 30W300 block of Heather Court in Warrenville, was ordered held Wednesday on $25,000 bail, according to county jail records.
Deputy Police Chief Tony Dutkovich said an investigation continued another vehicle burglary reported recently outside the recreation center, which is across the street from the Warrenville police station. He said no police report was filed for the earlier burglary involving the son's car.
Dutkovich said video evidence is becoming increasingly common, as more people carry phones and other electronic devices with video recorders.
Without a video in this case, he said, "it would have taken us a lot more time and a lot more work to find out who was the offender. Any help we can get from the public, we're happy to receive."
Police declined to release the video. The mother did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Assistant State's Attorney Nick Catizone said Holmes had a prior theft case as a juvenile. Court records show he pleaded guilty to stealing about $25 in merchandise from JC Penney in Lombard in December 2009.
Holmes also was ticketed twice this year for possession of marijuana, and once for possession of tobacco by a minor, court records show. In addition, he was charged with another theft in March, but records indicate that case was dismissed days later.
Holmes told Judge Michael Wolfe in bond court that he was a junior last year at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School. A school spokesman said Wednesday that Holmes was no longer enrolled.
Holmes remained in the county jail Wednesday afternoon and would have to post $2,500 to bond out.