by Jim Boyle
Elk River Star News
A 21-year-old Princeton man wanted on a warrant for motor vehicle theft was caught Feb. 28 in the act of committing a second motor vehicle theft, according to court documents recently filed in the Sherburne County 10th District Court.
Jacob Andrew Thomas described his decision to steal a 2002 Ford F-150 from a Princeton gas station on Feb. 22 as “impulsive” in a statement of probable cause that was filed on Feb. 24 as part of a complaint warrant.
He told authorities Feb. 23 he drove the pickup truck he took from a Little Duke’s gas station in Princeton to St. Cloud and back before abandoning it. It was found by police at 903 W. Branch St. in Princeton.
After being questioned and later released from the Mille Lacs County Jail, Thomas allegedly stole a maroon half-ton pickup truck with no tailgate and a large brush guard on the front, according to a criminal complaint filed March 3 filed at the courthouse in Elk River.
In this case, a Mille Lacs County dispatcher broadcast that the truck owner’s cellphone was in the truck, and when it was pinged, it showed that it was in the area of Highway 169 and 197th Avenue in Elk River.
That’s when an Elk River officer spotted the vehicle in traffic and began to pursue, according to the criminal complaint.
Due to heavy traffic the officer was not able to immediately get behind the vehicle but did eventually catch up to the vehicle on southbound Highway 101, the complaint stated. The officer was able to confirm the license plate matched the one of the stolen vehicle.
The arresting officer said it wasn’t until they just about reached South Diamond Lake Road in Rogers that enough officers had been assembled to initiate a high-risk stop on the vehicle. After doing the felony stop, the officer reportedly ordered the suspect out of the vehicle at gunpoint, according to the criminal complaint. The lone adult male in the truck was identified as Thomas.
The officer was then able to locate the cellphone authorities used to located the stolen vehicle and a checkbook in the front passenger seat that matched the name of the vehicle’s owner.
Thomas faces up to five years imprisonment and/or a 10,000 fine for the theft of the truck from Milaca.