A man arrested while burglarizing vehicles in northwest Indiana said he did it because he was unemployed and needed money for food and to support a drug habit, according to police.

Brian Ward of Hobart, Indiana, was arrested by Porter County sheriff’s police early Sunday when he returned to his vehicle after being seen entering a vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

In the statement, Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds commended the homeowners and officers who reported and spotted Ward.

“This is another example how drug abuse directly affects crime in Porter County. It continues to plague our communities, leading individuals to commit crimes like this to feed their addictions,” Reynolds said.

“It is vital we continue our pursuit of education at an early age and treatment of our current addicts to put an end to this epidemic.”

Sheriff’s officers were called to the Whitethorne Woods subdivision on U.S. 6 about 1 a.m. when Ward was seen by a homeowner’s teenage son entering a vehicle in the 800 block of Barberry Lane, police said.

Police had been investigating a series of 10 thefts from vehicles in the Jackson Township area northeast of Valparaiso.

The homeowner called 911 and went after Ward when he ran away, police said. Officers spotted a red 2000 Chevrolet S10 pickup parked illegally on U.S. 6 near the entrance to the subdivision.

Ward later came out of a wooded area nearby and returned to the vehicle, where he was arrested without incident, police said.

He was carrying a pillow case filled with several items reported stolen that night, police said. He was also carrying a pellet gun reported stolen that night and another gun previously reported stolen in Merrillville, Indiana, police said.

He told police he “takes items from vehicles because he is unemployed, and needs money for food, gas, and other expenses,” and also has a drug addiction, a statement from police said.

Ward was charged with felony burglary, and misdemeanor counts of theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and unlawful entry to a vehicle, police said.