published Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Arizona teen arrested at prom: I'm no tuxedo thief

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — A northern Arizona teenager who left his high school prom in a police car said Wednesday that he bought the tuxedo he's accused of stealing and wearing to the dance at a yard sale.

Kyle Laderoot told The Associated Press that he's no tuxedo thief and spent $100 for the formalwear he found at the yard sale. The 18-year-old denied breaking a window at a Prescott Valley store and stealing the $600 tuxedo off a mannequin, police said, but he gave authorities conflicting statements.

"I didn't do anything wrong," he said, adding that the arrest ruined his first prom, which was held Saturday.

Laderoot was booked into jail on suspicion of burglary and criminal damage but posted bond Sunday. Prosecutors late Tuesday declined to file charges, instead referring the case to Prescott Valley police for further investigation.

Newly graduated, Laderoot went to the dance in the popular tourist town of Jerome and was arrested after the store owner spotted him in the formalwear.

The business owner had gone to the dance with officers, identifying the stolen tuxedo by its color, style and designer label, Prescott Valley police Sgt. Brandon Bonney said Tuesday. Bonney and the store owner didn't immediately return calls from the AP on Wednesday.

Laderoot said he was walking into the dance with his friends looking "cool" in his tuxedo when police pulled him aside and questioned him about it. He said he told authorities he had been shopping at a yard sale Friday and happened upon the tuxedo.

Prescott Valley police got a call Friday about a burglary at an area store and suspected the tuxedo might be used at a prom. They called local schools and found out that PACE Academy was holding its prom in Jerome, a historic copper mining town about 100 miles north of Phoenix.

Police staked out the prom, joined by the store owner.

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