An Indianapolis mom turned her suspected shoplifter son into police this week after recognizing him in surveillance footage released by police.
Police say 18-year-old Jonathan Ratcliff is part of a group of offenders that has repeatedly looted area convenience stores for candy, snacks and other merchandise they've stuffed into bags before fleeing.
Ratcliff's mom did the right thing, police said. However, they believe they were already hot on his trail.
INDIANAPOLIS – Detectives have arrested 18-year-old Jonathan Ratcliff in connection with a series of brazen shoplifting cases at several Westside Phillip 66 gas stations. It is alleged that several suspects entered several different gas stations and ransacked the businesses as they stuffed bags with stolen merchandise. These brazen suspects just did not care and came with the sole intent of causing mayhem. Detectives released surveillance footage, to the public, of the suspects entering a Phillip 66 with a mob type mentality and stealing. A mother who saw her son in public images decided to do the right thing and surrender him to authorities. Once in custody, the suspect provided detectives enough evidence to arrest and preliminarily charge him with Theft. To the remaining suspects, IMPD encourages you to turn yourself(s) in. Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call Crime Stoppers of Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS.Posted by IMPD News on Friday, February 19, 2016
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said that, during one of the robberies, a suspect threw his backpack at the gas station attendant.
"These brazen suspects just did not care and came with the sole intent of causing mayhem," police said in a statement Friday.
But inside the backpack, police say, were homework assignments with the name Jonathan Ratcliff at the top, reports WTTV.
Once at the precinct, police say Ratcliff provided them with enough evidence to charge him with theft.
Meanwhile, at least one store owner said he hopes this is the end of the string of robberies that cost him hundreds of dollars each time.
“It’s like 500 to 600 dollars each time you know. There’s seven kids and they keep doing it. They never stop,” said the store owner.
Police are stil in search of at least two other suspects and said they continue to rely on help from the public and media, as well as on mother's like Ratcliff's.
"We know that the message is getting out there. We know this is an example for citizens to see, when you see something, do the right thing. Do like this mother did in turning her son in," said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.