A 21-year-old Hibbing man is accused of stealing a St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office patrol squad while it was parked Monday night outside the county courthouse in Virginia.
A deputy had left the car running, thinking it was locked while he went inside around 10 p.m., according to a news release. After noticing the squad car was stolen, the Sheriff’s Office was able to locate it using GPS.
A Virginia police officer found the squad car being driven through Virginia and attempted to stop the suspect. The suspect allegedly refused to stop, and waved a firearm out the window and eventually dropped it, the release said.
Assisting law enforcement retrieved the weapon, which was confirmed to be from the squad car. The suspect fled north on U.S. Highway 53 and onto U.S. Highway 169, toward Tower.
The pursuit eventually ended on Highway 169 in Pike Township when a deputy used a maneuver to cause the fleeing car to lose control. The suspect and only occupant of the vehicle was arrested.
The News Tribune typically does not name suspects until they have been formally charged.
The squad car was damaged. No injuries were reported.
A St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office squad car was stolen in 2015 while parked in Superior. Investigations later revealed the car was stolen by a county employee.
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