MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (CBS) — The recovery of a stolen WBBM Newsradio news car led police to stop what they say was a one-man crime-wave.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the story all begins with a certain unnamed reporter’s carelessness with the spare key to the unmarked news car.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

It was December in Michigan City, Ind., and the key was found in another vehicle. The reporter had to tell the boss the news car was gone.

Several days later, a police officer spotted the car, being driven by a woman whom police identified as the alleged thief’s girlfriend.

Police found and interrogated the alleged thief – Charles Thomas, 37 – and he started talking. Police said he them how for the past two months, he had walking around from dusk until dawn, breaking into cars and stealing what he can find.

Police initially suspect Thomas is responsible for as many as 100 break-ins.

This week, six months after the WBBM Newsradio car was stolen, Thomas faces 23 felony charges. They include possession of stolen property, auto theft, attempted auto theft, and theft from motor vehicles.

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