Southfield woman captures video of neighbor sneaking into her apartment, leaves 'gotcha' note

Hidden video shows Lance Papp sneaking into Thameka Hall's apartment

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - A Southfield man was arrested when his neighbor captured video of him sneaking into her apartment to steal money from her wallet.

Thameka Hall said she couldn't figure out how she was always misplacing cash in her apartment.

"I couldn't replace my steps and I was going crazy," Hall said.

She lives alone, and for weeks the money kept disappearing from her purse.

"My purse was right here hanging on the doorknob by the front door," Hall said.

Hall said after several hundred dollars vanished, it clicked.

"I said, 'I know what it is. Somebody is going through my apartment. It has to be. There's no other reason it's missing,'" Hall said.

She decided to catch the crook.

"I took this heel and I turned my video mode on and I made sure I checked the angle," Hall said.

She captured video of a stranger opening the door and going right toward her purse.

"I was, like, 'Aww,'" Hall said. "I feel on my knees and literally started crying."

Hall said she called her mother immediately.

"I can't believe I caught (the man)," Hall said. "Then I called police."

Southfield police officers said they were surprised at the way Hall caught the thief.

"He's definitely been clocking me and watching me, and that's super uneasy," Hall said.

Police said Lance Papp was able to watch her because he lives down the hall. Papp was her next-door neighbor.

Papp didn't answer when Local 4 stopped by, and the television turned off when we knocked on the door.

Hall's video shows Papp grabbing the cash, but this time she only had a dollar and a handwritten note for him.

"I wrote, 'I gotcha,'" Hall said. "That's what I can say to you. The joke's on you. You messed with the wrong one."

Hall acknowledged she made the mistake of leaving her door unlocked when making quick runs to do laundry. She said she hopes other people can learn from her mistake.

"Don't get too comfortable," Hall said. "Never get too comfortable. I got way too comfortable."

The video was crystal clear, and it helped police arrest Papp without incident. He is charged with home invasion.

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