MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Police say the call a theft suspect made from the home of his victim led to his arrest.
Captain Scott Elder with the Mercer County Sheriff's Office says around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday a man knocked on the door of a home on Lexington Road and told the woman living there he needed to use her phone because he was having car problems.
"While she was trying to offer that assistance the offender grabs her purse and flees the residence," Elder said.
The victim called 911 and gave police a description of the suspect and his vehicle. Once they were at the home deputies were able to get the name of their suspect by hitting redial on the victim's phone.
"While he was in the house with the victim he called a family member, so it kind of made it easy on identifying our suspect," Elder said.
Police say instead of pretending to call someone, 28-year-old John Hawkins actually placed a call, before fleeing.
"We talked to the family member, the family member gave us his name and we immediately knew who we were looking for," Elder said.
Sheriff's deputies, Kentucky State Police, and Burgin Police began searching for Hawkins. They arrested him at a home on Kennedy Bridge Road.
He is charged with burglary and tampering with physical evidence. Elder says the second charge is because he tried to hide the victim's purse in some nearby woods, before eventually leading them to where it was.
"Honestly, if he didn't take us to where he hid the purse we would have never found it," Elder said. "Down a dirt road and in some woods."
Elder says Hawkins confessed and told them he took the purse to pay for a drug habit.
"We could probably relate 90 to 95 percent of our crimes back to drugs, whether it be assault, theft, it's all fuel for drugs."
Hawkins is being held in the Boyle County Detention Center.