An Inver Grove Heights man apparently needed some instant transportation, so he helped himself to a Minnesota Department of Transportation truck parked at a construction site Monday morning.
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 a first court appearance Wednesday.
The man hopped in a maroon Ford F-150 pickup 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 55 miles per hour until officers were able to force the vehicle to come to a stop on the ramp from Maxwell Avenue to westbound Interstate 494, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the State Patrol.
Police briefly had the ramp closed while they arrested the driver. The suspect faces felony counts of fleeing of police and theft of a motor vehicle.
MnDOT does not have the truck, agency spokeswoman Sue Roe said, adding that it's likely part of the State Patrol's investigation. MnDOT trucks have been stolen in the past, but "it's obviously not an everyday occurrence," she said.