Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 12, 2002

Suspect who fled on four wheeler is held in Missouri

By Julie Yurek

A suspect driving a four wheeler who evaded Lester Prairie Police July 3 is being held in Missouri following a two-week crime spree across four states.

The 21-year-old Montrose man, who was already on probation for earlier offenses, started a series of misdemeanor and felony offenses July 3 in Wright County.

His name cannot be released until he is charged in Minnesota, said Lester Prairie Police Chief Bob Carlson.

In Wright County, the suspect allegedly stole a 4x4 All Terrain Vehicle and then proceeded to Lester Prairie.

After fleeing Officer Mark Thiry, he continued south to Jackson County, Minn., near the Iowa boarder, where he dumped the four wheeler, and stole a second one.

His next reported crime happened in Miami County in Kansas, where he admitted to police that he fled from police in Lester Prairie on a stolen four wheeler.
The suspect confessed to police in Miami County after being read his Miranda warning, the report said.

The suspect committed various crimes in Miami County, according to the report.
He was caught by Drexler police for offering a forged check and was driving the stolen four wheeler from Jackson County.

He is currently in jail in Cass County, Mo. on a $10,000 bail bond. He also reportedly stole a cell phone and check book on his way through Iowa.

The six police departments may have never known about the spree, except for some detective work done by the Lester Prairie Police Department.

Following the incident, Thiry spoke with to some residents and was given a name.
Thiry contacted the suspect's mother and was informed that the suspect was on probation in Wright County.

Thiry contacted Wright County and was told the four wheeler was stolen.
The mother called the Lester Prairie Police Department to say that the suspect had called her from Missouri where he was detained by police.

His mother gave Carlson the name of the detective and agency that has him in custody.

Carlson contacted Drexler police, who faxed him a copy of the police report. The detective informed Carlson that the stolen four wheeler recovered was out of Jackson County, he said.

Carlson then contacted Jackson County to obtain information on the four wheeler stolen in Wright County. He was told it was recovered by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and that the owner had retrieved it already, Carlson said.

The Sheriff from Jackson County e-mailed Carlson a picture of the four wheeler and Thiry was able to get positive identifications from people who saw the four wheeler July 3.

When Carlson contacted the owner of the stolen four wheeler, he was informed that the rear fenders had been painted after it was stolen and he had pressure washed the paint off, Carlson said.

When Carlson contacted Drexler police again, he asked if the suspect had said anything about the incident in Lester Prairie, Carlson said.

Carlson was told that a detective in Miami County may have some information for him, he said. That's when he was informed of the confession to fleeing, Carlson said.

Before the suspect can be brought to Minnesota to face charges of felony fleeing a peace officer with a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor charges of driving with a revoked license and reckless driving, he must be charged.

If found guilty, he must serve his time in each location before the next police department can take action against him, Carlson said.

"He has to work his way back up through the states the way he came," Carlson said.

The suspect allegedly told an officer that he was on his way to Alabama, looking for a long-lost relative, Carlson said.

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