According to court records, he broke into the flat of a man who had been selling what Helt believed to be bad marijuana.
Helt, who was 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and criminal trespass, both misdemeanours, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation.
The arrest warrant was issued in November 2011 after Helt had violated probation.
Helt moved to Los Angeles and lived on the streets while trying to find work as a model.
He gained worldwide attention on Sunday when Cyrus let him accept the award for video of the year on her behalf. Helt, who met Cyrus through a Hollywood homeless centre, used the platform to call attention to the issue of youth homelessness.
Polk County director of community corrections Martin Silbernagel said officials are trying to locate Helt and arrest him.
He said Helt repeatedly failed to meet with his probation officer.
Linda Helt, Jesse’s mother, told reporters that Cyrus had given her son some money and he was flying home for a visit.
Sheriff’s detective John Williams went to the mother’s Salem home on Tuesday but did not find Helt. Mr Williams said he spoke with the family and let them know he is looking for Helt.
Court records show Helt was arrested by Salem police three times as a juvenile, for offences such as marijuana possession and being a minor in possession of tobacco products and alcohol.
As Helt’s moment in the sun took a dark twist, Cyrus said via Twitter: “People who are homeless have lived very hard lives. Jesse included.”
She then asked: “Does looking down upon the homeless help people excuse their inaction?”