When forced to choose between a beer and a stolen cell phone, one Tenderloin-area thief chose the latter, tossing his brew in an effort to escape with the purloined device.

According to a report from the San Francisco Police Department, the altercation occurred at 8:18 Thursday night, near the corner of Larkin and Myrtle Streets.

Police say that the victim, a 25-year-old man, was at the corner when a man and woman in their 30s approached him and asked for money.

When the victim declined to contribute, "a verbal confrontation" ensued. As the discussion escalated, the male half of the cash-seeking couple "grabbed [the victim's] cell phone and ran," according to the SFPD.

The victim gave chase, police say, but not for long. As he caught up to the thief, the cell phone robber "threw a full can of beer" at his pursuer, striking the victim in the face and breaking his glasses.

That distracted the victim long enough for the miscreant to escape, fleeing south on Larkin by foot.

Police say that the victim suffered from "redness to [the] face" as a result of the beer blow, but he declined treatment. The suspect, police say, remains at large.