A thief who used the back of a grocery receipt to write a note that he gave a bank teller during a robbery two weeks ago was arrested on theft and robbery charges, according to an Oregon police affidavit.
A piece of the receipt, which the robber left at the Home Federal Bank in Bend, Ore., had the last four digits of a food stamp account and the account balance on it, Detective Jeff Frickey said in the affidavit.
According to The Associated Press, the scrap of paper was enough information to track down Robert Short, 54, who denied the theft and robbery charges.
In an interview after his arrest, Short told police he always throws receipts in the trash, where anyone could have picked it up.
According to the affidavit, Short also said a hitchhiker must have stolen a black stocking cap that was held as evidence by police after it was knocked off during an altercation between the robber and a bank client on April 24.
Short was told by police that his DNA was found on the cap.
Detective Frickey said in an affidavit that he was able to find Short by comparing the digits on the receipt with state records which provided a name to go with the account number, the Bend Bulletin reports.
An online search of the name showed a pawn shop transaction with a phone number, and a service provider then obtained coordinates that matched the location of Stillwater Campground in Central Oregon.
Further investigation revealed that Short was previously arrested 36 times in Oregon, including six felony convictions, the affidavit said. He was also arrested 17 times in Washington, including one for robbing a bank in 1989.
Short was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, second-degree robbery and harassment, and held without bail at the Deschutes County Jail. A plea hearing is set for May 27.