MONROE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Monroe Police said an apparent “butt dial” led them to two robbery suspects last week at a construction business.

The incident itself happened Wednesday. According to a report from the Monroe Police Department, Maxwell Howard and Jeffrey Bird were allegedly sifting through metal at a business at the Monroe Corporate Center when one of them accidentally dialed 911.

Police said, over the course of several minutes, dispatchers were able to pick up on what was happening.

“They were talking [about] what to pick up,” said Lt. Steve Morton with Monroe Police.  “‘We’re going to get that, make sure you’re going to pick that up, we need that one’ [and so forth].”

Police arrived and one of the suspects was arrested at the location.  Another suspect reportedly fled on foot, and was still unknowingly on the phone with 911 during this time, and was later arrested.

News of the arrest has met with a variety of reactions. Within the department, Lt. Morton said the case initially warranted a double take.

“You have to read it again because you don’t believe it,” he said.

The post about the arrest has been shared and commented hundreds of times on Monroe Police Department’s Facebook page, which prompted a response from one of the suspects, who requested the post be taken down because it was “embarrassing.”

Police declined to take the post of the arrest down.

Lt. Morton said this case highlights a large issue in Monroe and Union County — specifically, thefts at construction businesses and sites, where thieves will steal metal and either sell it or take it to a recycling center for money in return.

Queen City News has made a request with Union County 911 for the actual call of the incident.

The business that was the site of the theft did not wish to comment on this story.

Police said Howard has active felony warrants.  Bird was also charged with possession of methamphetamine as a result of this incident.