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Charges: Man steals phone from 9-year-old waiting for her sister

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A 19-year-old man is charged with stealing a phone from a 9-year-old girl earlier this month, then running away.

The criminal complaint against Dejuan Quashing Montgomery says the young girl was standing on the corner of Edmund Avenue and Grotto Street in Saint Paul on Jan. 5, waiting to pick up her sister from the school bus.

She was on the phone – which was a Christmas present – talking with her dad, when Montgomery walked by and grabbed her phone, according to the complaint. He said, "Ha. I got your phone!" then ran off, according to the charges.

Police had previously told BringMeTheNews it was an LG model valued at about $100.

A few days later, the 9-year-old's mother called the police to report a woman had stopped by her home to return the stolen phone, according to the complaint. The woman claimed to be Montgomery's mother, saying he has some mental health issues and was on probation at the time, the complaint says.

The serial number on the phone matched the serial number on phone's box, the complaint notes.

Surveillance images also helped lead police to Montgomery, according to the charges.

When Sgt. James Gray met with the suspect, he admitted to taking the phone, according to the complaint. He said he tried to give it back, but the girl had left. So his mother returned it after she heard about the incident on the news, authorities say.

The complaint says Montgomery has a prior felony conviction on possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.

The suspect faces up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

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