A 49-year-old Carroll man dropped his cellphone as he fled a grocery store with a stolen 40-ounce bottle of Budweiser last week, according to court records.
A police officer used that cellphone to identify Carey Lee Huffman and charge him with misdemeanor theft.
The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Hy-Vee, 905 U.S. Highway 30 West. Huffman tried to conceal the bottle and leave the store.
“A staff member confronted the male, who then fled on foot,” court records show. “As the male was fleeing he dropped numerous items including his cellular phone.”
Huffman admitted to a police officer the next day that he stole the beer and had panicked at the store. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three days in jail.
It was the second time Huffman was caught stealing because he left his cellphone behind, court records show:
Huffman went into a bathroom of convenience store in Bayard in June 2016 and climbed into its ceiling, where he waited for about two hours for the store to close and employees to leave.
He later stole a 12-pack of Budweiser and left the store, according to video surveillance recordings. He returned twice that night to steal more items, including more beer.
Investigators identified Huffman as a suspect after store employees found his cellphone in the ceiling.
Huffman was convicted of felony burglary but received probation in February 2017. That probation was later revoked and he was imprisoned. Court records show he was paroled in February 2019.
It’s unclear how Huffman’s recent theft conviction might affect his parole, which is set to end in April 2020, state records show.