A man stole four vehicles within a few hours in southeastern Minnesota and Wisconsin, crashed two of them and ran the gas tanks of the other two dry before being nabbed on foot, authorities said Tuesday.
The 30-year-old suspect was arrested in Goodhue County on Monday evening and awaits charges there, in neighboring Olmsted and Wabasha counties and in western Wisconsin, according to Olmsted County Sheriff’s Capt. Terry Waletski.
The spree began late Monday morning after a stolen car struck another vehicle in Oronoco, then was abandoned in a ditch along Hwy. 52, according to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect then found an SUV and took off in that, taking back roads at times while weaving in and out of Goodhue, Olmsted and Wabasha counties with squad cars in pursuit.
The man crashed into a fence and ran onto a farm north of Oronoco, where he stole a pickup truck — the third vehicle that he swiped, Waletski said.
The man drove the pickup to nearby Nelson, Wis., and ran out of gas. He stole a car there, returned to Goodhue County and kept going until the needle hit “E.”
Deputies caught him about 6 p.m. as he tried to run, according to the captain.
The man has been committing traffic-related crimes for all his adult life in Minnesota. He has been convicted twice of driving on a revoked license, being under 21 and driving after drinking and driving without insurance.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482