Initial investigation found Petrov Vadim, 32, moved from the central city of Phan Thiet to Ho Chi Minh City on April 6. He rented a room on Bui Vien Street in the popular backpacker neighborhood.
The following day he reportedly went to a restaurant on the nearby Nguyen Thai Hoc Street for lunch.
The restaurant manager Lam Huynh Thuy Tien left an iPhone 6 charging at her counter and went away. Vadim allegedly stole the phone and left.
|Petrov Vadim, 32, at the police station. Photo credit: Quoc Thang/VnExpress
Tien checked security footage and decided to go around the neighborhood to find the suspect.
She saw Vadim walking on Bui Vien Street at around 6:30 p.m. the same day and asked local residents and police to help arrest him.
At the police station, Vadim first rejected the accusation but he later admitted to the theft after police showed him the video.
The Russian man said he worked as a teacher in Mui Ne, the resort town often known as "Little Moscow." He caught a bus to Ho Chi Minh City to avoid paying debt.
Police are investigating the case.