EVERETT, Wash. - A mother who recognized her son on surveillance video as the burglar who broke into her convenience store turned him over to police, she told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
Police said the man is responsible for breaking into at least seven North Sound stores, including the one owned by his mother.
Dottie Thompson told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News North Sound reporter Lee Stoll that she was heartbroken that she helped police put her son in jail, but she felt she had no choice.
"I had to do the right thing," she said.
Thomson was home Nov. 30 when the alarm at her store went off. Cameras showed a man throwing a cinder block through the front door.
She said a few seconds of grainy video is all she needed to recognize the burglar.
"I said, 'Son, how many stores have you hit? Six, seven?' He said, '16,'" she said.
According to court papers, the suspect and two other people burglarized several mini-marts in Island and Snohomish counties in the last two months.
Thomson said her son is addicted to heroin.
Police said he stole cigarettes and lottery tickets and tried to cash winning tickets at other stores. They said he would use the money for a quick fix.
Thomson hopes the arrest will be a wake-up call for her son.
"I just want to see him get clean and live a productive life. This is not who he is."
Karen Ryan's Lake Goodwin store was hit twice.
"A lot of us don't have the insurance that would cover this because our deductible is higher than what the damage is,' Ryan said.
The sheriff's office is still looking into how widespread this burglary spree was.
Thomson said she's waiting for her son to call her when he bails out of jail because she says he has nowhere else to go.