PROVO — A man was arrested Thursday afternoon in the theft of a purse from a shopper.

The elderly woman went to Springville police recently to report that she had been shopping at Wal-Mart when she was robbed. Police received surveillance tapes from the store, which showed a woman distracting the elderly woman while a man walked up behind her and snatched the purse. The man and woman then fled, according to a court affidavit.

The elderly woman was scared and told security. A Springville officer who was in the store on another matter helped security look for the thieves, who were not found that day.

After viewing the surveillance tape, officers identified both people and had the victim identify them through photo lineups.

As they were going through the photos, the 25-year-old male suspect called the officer on his cell phone and allegedly admitted that he and his girlfriend had taken the purse, according to the affidavit. The officer told him to come to the police station to talk about it, but he never came.

The man was attending 4th District Court Thursday for another hearing and was arrested as he left. He was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of theft and unauthorized possession of a credit card on $25,000 cash-only bail.

Jail records show the man's girlfriend was booked into jail Friday afternoon on similar allegations.