Northville Township police say Local 4 viewer helped catch credit card thief

Matthew Phelan accused of slipping into golf club locker rooms, stealing credit cards

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Northville Township police say they were able to arrest a man wanted for breaking into golf club locker rooms and stealing credit cards thanks to the help of a Local 4 viewer.

Matthew Ward Phelan is charged with four counts of identity theft and seven counts of using stolen credit cards. Police released surveillance pictures of Phelan at a Meijer two weeks ago.

Read back: Northville Township police on hunt for credit card thief

"One of your viewers contacted our department, thought they recognized the individual and gave us some information on him," said Northville Township Police Lt. Michael Wildt. "We then did some background checks and (Phelan) fit the description to a T."

Wildt assigned a couple of detectives to Phelan, who spent a day and 1/2 watching before, police say, they caught him in the act of slipping into golf club locker rooms to steal the credit cards.

"He actually went into a couple of country clubs," said Wildt. "We then arrested him as he was coming out of the second country club."

Phelan is a newly-wed who recently moved into a town home with his wife. The home is just a couple of miles from the police station.

Police say he is a man with a long criminal past.

"I would say he is a career criminal," said Wildt.

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