ST. LOUIS, MO — A man stole a hot dog from a 7-Eleven store and choked to death when he tried to eat the evidence, St. Louis police said Tuesday.

Paramedics said the man, Robert Puelo, 32, of the 3400 block of Chippewa Street, had a six-inch piece of hot dog in his throat Monday night when they tried to revive him.

When the clerk called the cops, Puelo stuffed a hot dog into his mouth and took off.

Three additional chunks of hot dog also were lodged in his throat, authorities said.

Sgt. James Cox said Puelo and a man identified as his brother, Mark Vogel, 28, of St. Charles, entered the 7-Eleven at 3346 Gravois Avenue about 8:20 p.m. Monday and started talking loud and cursing.

When the clerk told them she was calling the police, Puelo stuffed a hot dog into his mouth and left the store. He collapsed outside.

Cox said that when he arrived, he saw the man's fingertips turning blue. Puelo was pronounced dead at St. Louis University Hospital.