Forget bread crumbs: Half-eaten cinnamon roll leads police to suspect

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A half-eaten cinnamon roll helped Wisconsin police track down a man who drove away in a State Department of Corrections officer's vehicle early Monday morning, according to a police incident report.

A Wisconsin correctional officer, who was in Madison for training, parked his vehicle outside a hotel at 4:30 a.m. Monday. When he went into the hotel, he left his keys in the ignition.

"He heard his car start up and watched as it left the lot," police spokesman Joel DeSpain told "Not a problem, because the hotel had surveillance cameras in the lot."

The video showed the suspect was eating something. Police then found a half-eaten cinnamon roll in the parking lot.

"He didn't even get to finish his cinnamon roll, and that turned out to be the morsel that cracked the case," Madison police wrote in the incident report.

An officer went to a nearby restaurant that sold similar pastries and an employee there described a customer, who matched the suspect in the video. The suspect paid cash, so there wasn't a credit card trail, but the employee told police the suspect arrived in a Sun Prairie Police Department squad car.

"He apparently had been with a friend who was arrested for operating under the influence," DeSpain told "The passenger lost his ride but got one with a Sun Prairie officer to the restaurant."

Sun Prairie police had the suspect's name, which led police to the suspect's address.

He was arrested for operating a vehicle without consent. On the way to jail, the suspect, 26, told the officer repeatedly that he "just had a really bad night."

Police found the correctional officer's car parked not far from the arrest scene and his uniform, cellphone and other items were found in the suspect's home, the report says.

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