MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 19-year-old Maplewood man faces a charge accusing him of stealing a cellphone from a 9-year-old girl’s hands in St. Paul earlier this month, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

Dejuan Quashon Montgomery faces one count of theft from person in connection to the Jan. 5 incident.

According to police, the incident happened near the intersection of Grotto Street and Edmund Avenue at about 3:30 p.m.

St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders says the victim was at the corner to pick up her little sister from the school bus when the man – now identified as Montgomery — walked by, circled back and grabbed her phone.

Montgomery then allegedly said, “Ah ha! I have your phone!” as he ran away. A store on the corner caught an image of Montgomery.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s mother contacted police on Jan. 8, saying an unknown woman stopped by her house and returned her daughter’s stolen cellphone. The woman said that her son, DJ, had stolen the phone. She said DJ was currently on probation and has mental health issues.

Later, police received information that the man caught on surveillance images was possibly Montgomery. After talking with his parole officer, police talked with Montgomery in person at the group home where he is currently residing.

During the interview, Montgomery admitted to taking the phone and said he tried to give it back but she wasn’t there, the complaint said.

Montgomery has a prior felony conviction of possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.

He is not in custody at this time.

If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

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