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The homeless man who accepted an MTV Video Music Award for Miley Cyrus has a record of his own.
Jesse Helt, who spoke at the VMAs about surviving in shelters and being “an extra in your life,” was booked four years ago on a drug-related burglary attempt and is wanted in Oregon on a probation violation, authorities told NBC News on Tuesday.
He was arrested in October 2010 and told the officer that he and a friend tried to break into an apartment because the man who rented it had sold them bad marijuana, according to an affidavit.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors, a month later, said Jon Troike, a senior judicial services specialist for Polk County, Oregon. Helt spent at least three weeks in jail and was sentenced to probation and drug treatment.
He has two other probation violations, Troike said. After the second, in August 2011, he was threatened with six months in jail if he violated probation again. Three months later, he failed to report to his probation officer.
He also appears on a wanted list for Polk County, said Martin Silbernagel, the county director of community corrections. He said Helt faced arrest if caught.
A Polk County sheriff’s detective, John Williams, said that he visited Helt’s mother’s home in Salem on Tuesday but did not find Helt there. He told the family that he is looking for Helt, he said.
Representatives of Cyrus did not respond to a request for comment, but the singer may have been reacting to news of Helt's record when she posted a series of tweets on Tuesday afternoon:
In one of the feel-good moments of the VMAs, Cyrus sent Helt to accept her award for “Wrecking Ball,” which won best video. The idea was to draw attention to youth homelessness. Helt, with shaking hands, read a statement and encouraged viewers to go to Cyrus’ Facebook page to learn more about the cause.
“I’ve survived in shelters all over,” he said. “I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms. I’ve been an extra in your movies. I’ve been an extra in your life.”
Cyrus reportedly put Helt up in a hotel and bought the clothes he wore onstage. The pop star had hinted on the red carpet beforehand that she had “something up my sleeveless sleeve.”
After the show, she posted a photo on Instagram of the two of them at In-N-Out Burger and called Felt “my hero.”
Helt’s mother, Linda, told The Oregonian newspaper that her son moved to Los Angeles a few years ago “because he wanted to make it on his own.” Cyrus met her son when she visited a homeless youth center called My Friend’s Place, the mother said.
Linda Helt told the newspaper her son was on his way to her home Monday evening.