A former St. Cloud prison inmate living with a pair of Bloomington brothers has been charged with stealing a van and thousands of dollars from one of the men -- a quadriplegic.
According to state records, David Paul Johnson, 50, was freed Dec. 28 and was staying at the men's apartment when the alleged theft occurred on or about Feb. 2.
His host, Larry Buhl, is a quadriplegic who needs a handicap-accessible van to get around, according to a complaint filed against John-son on Friday in Hennepin County District Court.
According to the charges:
One day while Johnson was with Buhl, he learned that Buhl, 51, had $5,470 in cash. Until it could be deposited, however, it was in a wallet in a side pocket of Buhl's wheelchair.
Johnson left the apartment, and a short time later, Buhl noticed the wallet was missing. His brother, Michael, then noticed that the van, and the spare keys for it, also were gone.
Later, Johnson called Buhl's attorney to confess to the thefts and to pledge to return the money and the van. But then Johnson didn't make contact again.
This week, a friend of Buhl's saw Johnson driving the van and called 911. Responding officers had to chase Johnson until he crashed on Tracy Avenue in Edina.
He is being held in the Hennepin County jail and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges of theft of more than $5,000 and theft of a motor vehicle.
According to state records, Johnson was admitted to the state correctional facility in St. Cloud in December 2009 after being convicted of driving while impaired and refusing to submit to a chemical test.