Police chase ends in Southeast Como neighborhood

Authorities say chase started near Burnsville and lasted 15 miles.

Kathryn Elliott

Pierce Street, in the largely student-populated Southeast Como neighborhood, was the endpoint of a 15-mile police chase just after midnight Monday morning.

A Burnsville police officer recognized a Ford Ranger pickup that was reported stolen and began to follow it the corner of I-35W and Cliff Road, according Burnsville police Sgt. Rory Bochniak.

Bloomington police joined the pursuit and attempted to stop the car at 82nd Street, Bloomington police Commander Mark Stehlik said. The carâÄôs driver evaded and the two squad cars gave chase from northbound I-35W to Southeast Como, where the suspect abandoned his truck.

âÄúMost people were sleeping when it happened,âÄù said Katherine Lange, who lives in the area.

Lange was having a late night bonfire in her backyard when she heard a noise next door âÄî someone walking in the leaves, she said.

Lange got out her flashlight, strapped on a police baton from her days working search and rescue for the Bloomington police department and went to check out the noise.

Within minutes, a state patrol helicopter search beam crossed over her house and police officers cordoned off the street, Lange said.

After she saw the helicopter, Lange called 911 and was told to cover her bonfire and stay inside until the suspect was located.

With the aid of the helicopter, Bloomington police found the truck, which the suspect, a 29-year-old man from south Minneapolis, had abandoned. A police dog followed the suspectâÄôs scent from the vehicle to a group of trash cans, where he was hiding.

Sunday nightâÄôs police chase didnâÄôt bother Lange, who has seen a few incidents since she moved into the area 24 years ago. But she said she thinks the neighborhoodâÄôs shift toward a higher student population has made crimes in the area less frequent.

 âÄúI think itâÄôs wonderful,âÄù Lange said. âÄúIâÄôm glad the police were doing their job.âÄù