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MONROE, N.C. – Police officers are always grateful to receive tips about crimes. Two men suspected of theft apparently lent a helping hand in securing their arrests last week.

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Police in the Charlotte suburb of Monroe were led to the men, who inadvertently dialed 911 on May 17.

According to a Facebook post by the Monroe Police Department, Maxwell James Howard, 30, of Monroe, was arrested and charged with stealing items at a construction business.

Howard was charged with felony larceny and possession of methamphetamine, according to Union County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

Jeffrey Bird, also of Monroe, has active warrants for felony larceny, online records show.

The men basically tattled on themselves, police said.

“Note to self: Don’t call 911 while committing crime,” the Monroe Police Department wrote on Facebook.

Police said a 911 dispatcher originally received a call at 3:32 a.m. EDT.

“Dispatchers originally thought the caller was in distress, but quickly realized two people were simply discussing what items were best to steal and which items would be most useful for them to take while accidentally calling 911,” the police department wrote. “The ‘911 caller’ even said he saw the police coming and took off running.”

According to an arrest report, 120 metal beams worth $24,000 were stolen from Record USA in Monroe. Officers arriving at the scene recovered approximately $12,000 in stolen property and arrested Howard, who was still at the site.

Bird fled the scene, police said.