It took only a cinnamon bun to give a local officer the critical lead in a case of sticky fingers.

Madison police have arrested a suspect after he allegedly stole a police car, according to a Madison police report.

According to the report, a Wisconsin correctional officer left his keys in the ignition of his parked car as he left to enter a hotel on the 4800 block of East Washington Avenue early Monday morning.

Moments later the officer watched as a thief drive away with his car.

Madison Police spokesperson Joel DeSpain said the police officer was able to immediately locate images of the suspect through hotel surveillance camera. The footage revealed a man about six feet tall with a slender build drive away in the car.

DeSpain said the officer also noticed the suspect was eating something while driving away in his car. When the officer returned to the lot to inspect the scene of the crime, he found a partially-eaten cinnamon roll.

The officer knew of a nearby restaurant which sold pastries. He went to the bakery, and asked an employee if anyone had recently bought a cinnamon roll. The employee described a customer matching the image of the suspect seen in the hotel footage.

The employee told the officer the suspect had originally arrived to the shop in a Sun Prairie Police Department squad car. When the officer asked the Sun Prairie Police Department about the suspect, police there told him the suspect was in the squad car with his friend, who had been picked up for drunken driving.

So, the suspect had gotten a ride from police, DeSpain said. Because of this exchange, the officer was able to track down the suspect.

Police found the 26-year-old at his home and arrested him. DeSpain said the officer’s car was then found parked nearby, along with all of his personal items.

“The officer was very observant and showed really good police work in this situation,” DeSpain said.

[Steve A. Johnson/Flickr]