St. Cloud, MN - Building Alarm Call - Man Steals St. Cloud Squad Car - Talks On Radio After Chase - Returns To Original Location - Says "This Will Teach Them"

January 13, 2017

sctimes.com

A Monticello man is accused of stealing an unlocked St. Cloud police squad car, taking it for a ride around town and returning it, telling the officers who later arrested him that "this ought to teach them a lesson."

Madison Dean Pettis, 22, is charged in Stearns County with motor vehicle theft, fleeing police and using a police radio while committing a felony.

The court complaint charging him indicates that as he was driving the stolen squad, he used the police radio to tell dispatchers who he was and that he was going to return the car to where he had taken it.

Pettis is accused of taking the squad just before 4 a.m. at First Street and Sixth Avenue South. A St. Cloud police officer had responded to that area and was checking on a building alarm when he left his squad unlocked.

Pettis is accused of getting in the car and driving off onto Division Street to Cooper Avenue to Third Street and back downtown. During his ride, another officer spotted the squad and realized it wasn't being driven by a police officer.

That officer gave chase, but couldn't get the squad to pull over. Pettis is accused of responding to dispatchers who were trying to identify the driver.

"An unknown voice came over the police radio stating that he was returning the squad car to Perkins," the complaint said. The squad was gone for about 15 minutes.

When Pettis returned the squad, he was arrested, the complaint said.

"He commented that this ought to teach them a lesson," the complaint said.