A Madison man accused of stealing the wallet of a 60-year-old woman was arrested later in the day and admitted to having a heroin habit, Madison police reported.

Justin McCarthy, 35, of Madison, was tentatively charged with two counts of theft, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said in a news release.

Officers were notified Monday afternoon that the victim had her wallet stolen at Walmart, 7202 Watts Road, after she left her purse in the cart in the frozen food section.

"A store security guard spotted the suspect take the victim's wallet from her purse," said police spokesman Joel DeSpain in the release. "He got the suspect's license plate number and description of the car."

The guard also told police the suspect was the same person who took another shopper's wallet in October.

"A sergeant in an unmarked squad car spotted the suspect's car at a liquor store," DeSpain said. "He denied wrongdoing but when confronted with the facts that there was an eyewitness and surveillance videos, he admitted to it."

A Fitchburg police K-9 unit (officer and police dog Chase) also were called to the scene to check the vehicle for drugs.

"Chase alerted inside the car where heroin and paraphernalia were found," DeSpain said. "The suspect admitted he had a daily habit."

McCarthy also is considered a suspect in area copper thefts, police said.


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