An Inver Grove Heights man apparently needed some instant transportation, so he helped himself to a MnDOT truck parked at a construction site and took off.
The suspect, a 33-year-old man who was not a MnDOT employee, was arrested after a short police pursuit through the southeastern suburbs. He was booked into the Dakota County jail and is awaiting first court appearance Wednesday.
The man hopped in a maroon Ford F-150 pick-up on Hwy. 61 south of 80th Street about 7:25 a.m. Monday and headed north. Crews working on the road immediately reported the theft to police.
Cottage Grove police spotted the vehicle around 80th Street and attempted to stop it. The driver kept going and officers from Hastings and the State Patrol joined the chase around Hwy. 61 and Glen Road. Speeds reached 30 to 55 miles per hours until officers were able to do a PIT maneuver and force the vehicle to come to a stop on the ramp from Maxwell Avenue to westbound I-494, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.
Police briefly had the ramp closed while they arrested the driver.
The suspect was booked into jail an faces counts of felony fleeing of police and felony theft of a motor vehicle.
MnDOT does not have the truck back, agency spokeswoman Sue Roe said adding that it’s likely part of the State Patrol’s investigation.
There have been cases of MnDOT trucks stolen in the past, but “it’s obviously not an everyday occurrence,” he said.