Mother Arrested for Taking Teenage Daughter's iPhone 6 Away

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Stock image: A Michigan mother has been cleared of charges after she was arrested for confiscating her daughter's cell phone. Getty Images

A Michigan mother has avoided criminal charges for "stealing" her daughter's cell phone as a form of punishment.

In a shocking case of miscommunication, Jodie May was arrested on May 11—the day before Mother's Day—after her ex-husband called police saying she had stolen an iPhone 6 from her daughter. May was taken to a holding cell and released two hours later on a $200 bond.

The ex-husband claimed to police that he owned the phone. But May said it was a Christmas gift from the man to her daughter. It took just several minutes for the assistant prosecutor to confirm that the daughter was the owner of the phone.

On Tuesday, the charges against May were dismissed by the Ottawa County prosecutor. She is now demanding answers about how the case went as far as it did. "I was just being a mom, a concerned parent and disciplining my daughter," May said, according to Wood TV.

"I think it's ridiculous. I can't believe I had to be put through it, my daughter had to be put through it, my family. I'm very surprised, but I'm very happy with the outcome."

May was charged with misdemeanor larceny and larceny by conversion. Both charges had a maximum punishment of 93 days in jail.

Ottawa County Assistant Prosecutor Sarah Matwiejczyk conceded that the case should be thrown out. "I've had an opportunity to discuss this case with the victim in this case, or at least the person we believed owned the property," Matwiejczyk said in court. "The mother defendant being the mother of the minor child, I believe that changes the case significantly," the assistant prosecutor said. "Therefore we're requesting that the charges be dismissed."

At the time of her arrest, May was nursing a four-week-old baby. She pleaded with the officer to let her turn herself in on Monday, which he ignored. "He had told me that he was going to arrest me, and I asked him if I could turn myself in on that Monday by myself, that I had a new baby," May said. "She wasn't taking the bottle yet."

May claims the prosecution knew it was her daughter's phone "the whole time." "It was an easy question to have answered."

Defending lawyer Jennifer Kuiper-Weise said this was always just parental discipline. "We knew it would come across that way," Kuiper-Weise said. "The case was authorized on a probable-cause basis, and unfortunately at times there are misdemeanor cases that are not thoroughly vetted. Unfortunately Miss May was a victim of that."