New Ulm Police have provided more details on a vehicle theft that occurred Tuesday night at Kwik Trip.
According to a statement, police received a report of an assault in the McDonald’s drive-thru line at about 9:01 p.m. The assault victim reported that a man walked up to his window and punched him in the face, unprovoked. The suspect then fled the scene.
At 9:14 p.m., police received a report of a white Ford SUV that had been stolen from the Kwik Trip parking lot. The owner reported that there was a handgun stored in the glove compartment. The stolen vehicle was seen traveling south on Broadway by officers. New Ulm police believe the two incidents are related.
The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office said deputies were made aware of the stolen SUV at around 9:15 p.m. At about 11:30 p.m., the stolen white Ford was spotted traveling east on Highway 60 at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour by a Lake Crystal police officer. The officer pursued the vehicle for a short distance, but lost sight of it.
Police received a tip that the stolen SUV had attempted to get fuel in Amboy. The SUV was discovered unoccupied on Highway 169 near the Faribault County line at about 11:45 p.m. The sheriff’s release says the glove compartment was left open and the handgun was missing. Law enforcement continued to search the area with K9’s and air support from the Minnesota State Patrol, but a suspect wasn’t located.
New Ulm Police eventually identified Matthew Smith, 32, of St. Paul, as a suspect.
Smith was arrested Wednesday morning just after 9 a.m. when deputies responded to a report of a suspicious person walking along Highway 169 in the Amboy area. The handgun was not recovered.
Smith was arrested without incident and turned over to the New Ulm Police Department. Possible charges against Smith include theft of a motor vehicle and third-degree assault. The incident remains under investigation.