The escape of an alleged burglar turned out to be short and sweet.
Jose Lopez Jr, initially got away scot-free after breaking into a party shop, but was caught after detectives followed a trail of candy wrappers, authorities say.
The suspect allegedly forced his way into the shop in Eloy, Arizona, before making off with a safe containing cash and jewellery, as well as some chocolate bars that were on display.
But his sweet tooth turned out to be the alleged burglar’s downfall-after a trail of candy wrappers led detectives right to his door.
Arizona investigators used old fashioned police work to follow the thief’s track- straight to his nearby house.
They had managed to match a footprint from the crime scene at Matty’s Enterprise in Eloy with another nearby footprint surrounded by candy wrappers.
After the alarm tripped, Jennifer Jimenez, whose parents own the store went to check out the scene.
She realised that more than $2,000 in cash and jewellery, was stolen from the store, along with candy bars that were on display.
‘Usually, we have it all stocked, all the candies, and we had a box of a variety of chocolates,’ Jimenez told KNXV TV. ‘All the chocolates were gone, completely.’
Investigators found a partial footprint on a broken window that matched a second behind the store’s building, surrounded by candy wrappers.
More wrappers could be seen just a few feet away, and, by following the footprint and wrappers for about a quarter of a mile, police were led to the home of the home of 45-year-old Jose Lopez Jr.
‘This is a little different than most cases,’ Stacy Smith, the public information officer at the Eloy Police Department, told ABC News. ‘With the trail left behind, and the distance they were able to follow it, it was definitely out of the ordinary for us.’
The cash and jewellery was recovered from the house. Lopez also had fresh cuts on his arms, similar to what investigators expected given blood they had found on the broken window.
Lopez has now been arrested for third degree burglary, theft, possession of marijuana, and had an outstanding warrant for violating probation. He is being held in the Pinal County Jail.
Another break-in two years ago ended with more than $2,000 in merchandise stolen, according to store owner Lydia Jimenez, but police made no arrests in the case.