Man flees after crashing stolen van in Arden Hills

Deputies were dispatched to Highway 10 just north of Highway 96 in Arden Hills after the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office received several reports concerning an accident across from Welsch’s Big Ten Tavern June 20. 

When law enforcement officials arrived to the scene around 5:40 a.m., they found an unoccupied Ford van turned over, lying on its side, and active electrical wires dangling down to street from a pole that had been struck and damaged by the van.

Xcel Energy responders were also on the scene, working to secure and repair the damage, which knocked out power to several nearby homes and businesses. 

As officers from the New Brighton Department of Public Safety were called in to help direct traffic, deputies talked to witnesses and discovered that the driver, described as a bald, tattooed white male, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, crawled out of the driver’s seat and fled the scene on foot. 

One witness told deputies that the man shed a yellow poncho and was then running away shirtless.

It turned out that the van — which belonged to an electrical contractor — had been stolen. It was stolen so recently that the owner didn’t know it was gone, and thus had not yet reported the theft.

According to witnesses, the man had a cut on his head and ankle, and was bleeding. Police swabbed the area for blood and DNA and in an attempt to locate the man, police brought in a K9 dog, but the dog didn’t find him.

That same morning, just hours after the incident, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office asked for the public’s help, tweeting, “See or know him? Call 911.”

According to the department’s crime prevention coordinator Randy Gustafson, police were still searching for the man and investigating the case as of press time.


Jesse Poole

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