For the last couple months, police in Olympia, Washington, have been trying to nab a purse thief who would strike at a local Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant.
It turns out the culprit was a bit more complicated than what authorities initially thought.
While Charles W. Elias was arrested, possibly connected with the string of thefts from the restaurant popular for children’s birthdays and other events, a video showed it was actually kids under the age of 10 who stole for him on up to 20 different occasions, according to KOMO-TV.
Elias allegedly used three children to snatch unattended bags and bring them to him in the bathroom. Credit cards in the bags were later reported used within nearby counties.
An employee monitoring a surveillance feed recently saw the 34-year-old directing the children to steal the bags, called the police and described their car after police arrived.
When police caught up with Elias, he was arrested on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and an outstanding warrant. Three children 7, 8 and 10 years old were in the car with a woman.
It is unclear how Elias is related to the children.
The police investigation into Elias’ alleged involvement in the purse snatching is ongoing.