Worthington Town Marshal Don Richardson started an investigation into a case of theft back on the first of December -- the suspect is accused of fraudulently using someone else's debit card to withdraw money from an ATM machine.
Richardson reviewed video security footage of the transaction, but he didn't recognize the person making the withdrawal, a white male dressed in a red and black striped hooded jacket.
The trail went cold -- until one day when Richardson was on his way into the grocery store in Worthington and saw three guys approaching the store on foot from the north. He recognized one of them as the suspect he had seen in the security video weeks earlier.
Richardson spoke with the suspect that day, told him he had him on video using someone else's card, then asked him some questions. The officer said the suspect admitted it was him in the video.
After their chance meeting at the store, the wheels started turning a little faster.
A case was filed in court on Jan. 22 and a warrant was issued on Jan. 23 for the suspect's arrest.
Michael Duane Lauderdale, 21, Worthington, was taken into custody on Jan. 24 and booked in to the Greene County Jail where bond was set at $4,000.
Lauderdale was charged with theft, a class D felony, during an initial hearing on Jan. 25.
He has since posted bond, been released and is now awaiting a trial date.
According to an affidavit prepared by Richardson, Lauderdale said he found a letter in his mailbox that contained a debit card sent from a bank. It was not addressed to Lauderdale but to a man who lives in the same apartment complex.
Knowing banks normally send the PIN number a few days later, Lauderdale admitted he took another letter from the bank out of the man's mailbox a couple of days later. It did contain the PIN number.
Lauderdale is accused of going to the MainSource ATM machine on Terre Haute Rd. in Worthington where he used the card to withdraw $100 cash, on Nov. 27, before he cut the card up into pieces and threw it into a dumpster.
The card came from First Financial Bank in Worthington where the victim had opened an account. When the fraudulent transaction was discovered, the bank returned the money to the victim's account.