Collin Kozubal said he had been keeping an extra eye out after his home was burglarized over the weekend.
The day after the break-in, his eye caught a pawn receipt near a dumpster--just the clue police needed to make arrests in a string of home burglaries.
"He's always been curious, even as a baby. Always curious," said Collin's mother, Amy Cruickshank.
Whether it's curiosity or a detective's instinct in the making, Collin missed a catch while playing football Monday and found a crumpled piece of paper.
"It was a big, important piece to the puzzle," said Fort Mitchell Police Chief Jeff Eldridge.
Police said this was a piece to the burglary puzzle they have been working on for months.
"It says 'One jewelry necklace,' " Collin said.
He recognized it as a pawn receipt from Money Vault Jewelry and Loan in Cincinnati.
"Fourteen-karat figaro link, 16-inch necklace," Collin said, the same one that was stolen from his home on Sunday night.
The receipt also included other jewelry and electronics, for a total of $560.
The receipt had Collin's neighbor's address on it.
Before he could bring it inside to show his mom, he said one of those neighbors confronted him.
"She tried stopping him and saying, 'Can I see that for a minute? You know, I need to see that piece of paper,' and he didn't even bat an eyelash, and he just kept walking and came into the house and showed it to me," Cruickshank said.
Police issued a search warrant, and Collin's neighbors, Jessica Sageser and Jamie Rogers, were arrested.
Police connected them to three other burglaries in the complex in the last four months.
"He is definitely a hero, you know, for finding the lead and stopping the criminals," Cruickshank said.
And when word gets out that it was Collin who cracked the case?
"I'll just say 'You're welcome,' and all that and just keep on walking," Collin said.
Collin said he realized he is pretty good at detective work and wants to one day make a living out of it.