From Police Chief Andy Bohlen:
December 15, 2017
FARIBAULT – On Tuesday, 12/14/17 around 7:30 PM a juvenile male (age 13) approached a taxi driver in southern Faribault and stated he had been assaulted. Police were called and the young victim gave amazing details of the event. The juvenile stated he was walking near his house when a dark colored truck with two males, drove up to him and asked if he had any money. The victim told them he did not and he took off running. A few blocks away, the suspects drove up to him again and produced a handgun. The driver exited the truck and assaulted the juvenile, choking him and giving him a large bump and scratches on the top of his head. The suspect truck sped off. The juvenile showed police where the assault took place and even provided police with information on an out-of-state license plate and a detailed description of the vehicle. Police began searching the area for the suspects.
Around 10:30 PM police took a report of a stolen silver Jeep Patriot from Kwik Trip South. Video surveillance showed the same truck involved in the previous attempted robbery/assault dropping someone off who then stole a vehicle that had been left idling in the parking lot.
At 11:26 PM, Officer Matt Shuda came across a pickup displaying Illinois license plates behind Faribault Rental on Wilson Ave. He noted the truck matched the description from the previous calls. As he attempted to make contact with the occupants, the suspects took off in the truck. The vehicle fled down 7th St NW towards Roberds Lake Blvd. Faribault Police were assisted by Rice County Sheriff’s deputies and the Minnesota State Patrol. At one point, the truck spun out and became lodged along the roadside. As officers approached on foot and held the suspects at gunpoint, the truck broke loose, nearly striking a Faribault officer. Officers continued the pursuit until the truck crashed about ½ mile down the road at 180th St and Roberts Lake Blvd. Three 16-year-old occupants, two males and one female, from Ohio were taken into custody. Upon investigation, it was discovered that all three were active “Runaways” and suspected of being involved in multiple crimes between Minnesota and Ohio. One of the juvenile occupants received minor injuries from the crash and was provided medical treatment. The truck they were driving was a confirmed stolen vehicle out of Illinois. A subsequent search of the vehicle recovered three stolen guns from a separate theft in Illinois.
Investigators were called in to assist and all three suspects were detained and placed in metro area juvenile holding facilities as the investigation continued. Police are in the process of contacting Ohio and Illinois jurisdictions to coordinate the investigation and were also attempting to contact responsible guardians for the juveniles in custody. The stolen Faribault Jeep was later recovered in the 12000 block of Morristown Blvd. by Sheriff Troy Dunn after deputies were dispatched to a burglary and criminal damage to property call where Faribault’s stolen vehicle was found unoccupied and damaged.
Police Chief Andy Bohlen commented, “Officers did a great job taking the suspects into custody and removed a trio that appeared to have been involved in multiple crimes from here to Ohio. The department is also truly grateful for the young victim’s detailed information and his remarkable recount of information that helped police quickly locate and apprehend the suspects.”
The investigation is ongoing and charges are expected to be filed with the Rice County Attorney’s Office soon.