The work of a Hamilton police officer led to the swift arrest of a suspect who allegedly stole a cash box containing $11,000 in donations from a cancer charity event, police say.

“[The officer] took it to heart based on the circumstances,” Said Det. Const. Greg Slack, media relations officer with Hamilton police.

The police officer, who is based in Central Station, conducted interviews and developed leads, according to Slack. He then visited several hotels, checked with lobby staff and eventually found the suspect at a downtown hotel.

The alleged theft took place at a charity banquet dinner at the Sheraton Hotel on King Street on Saturday. Supporters of the event, which was raising funds for Ride to Conquer Cancer, paid an admission fee, and donated to the fundraiser.

Security footage showed a man leaving the hotel with the cash box, which was said to contain $11,000.

Police released an image of the suspect on Tuesday and made a public plea. He was arrested on the same day around 2:30 p.m., police announced later.

The suspect was arrested without incident, Slack added. Police also took a female companion of the suspect into custody.

Slack would not say which hotel the suspect was staying, but he clarified that it was not the Sheraton Hotel where the incident took place.

“That'd be pretty brazen,” he said.

Investigators recovered a portion of the stolen funds. Slack would not elaborate on how much money was left, but said the leftover funds would be returned to the event organizer as soon as the investigation is over.

“It's still evidence at this point,”

Brian Ross Peebles, 52, Mississauga, faces theft and possession of stolen property charges.

Peebles, a slim-built man, appeared in court Friday morning. Dressed in a checkered shirt, dark jeans and sneakers, Peebles spoke little during the short court appearance.

He is expected to be back in court on Tuesday morning for bail hearing.