The 16-year-old, from Galveston, Texas, was filmed busting a move at the scene of a burglary, during which an amphibious duck tour vehicle was broken into and a fire extinguisher set off.
Detectives circulated the footage and later received a call from Ball High School police, who recognised the suspect from his dancing in school corridors.
"When we saw his moves, when we saw his swag, we immediately knew we were dealing with a smooth criminal," police captain Jeff Heyse told the Galveston Daily News.
"We went to his house, he was there; we showed his mother the video, his mother called him out to the living room.
"She looked toward the suspect and said, 'Signature dance move, what's that?' And he goes, 'That's my swag momma'; that was part of the, I guess, confession."
The boy, who cannot be named as he is a juvenile, now face charges along with two adults.
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Watch the dancing burglar on CCTV below: