Suspect chased by car, on foot

by Tom Lopez

Andrew Tellijohn

A high-speed car chase led University Police from the West Bank campus to St. Paul on Friday night, and culminated in a 20-minute foot chase before it was finished.
At about 5 p.m. on Friday Officer Charles Miner of the University Police Department saw a man loading pieces of stereo equipment into the back of an Oldsmobile. Miner said the license plate on the car, which was parked in the parking lot across from Middlebrook Hall on the West Bank, matched that of a car that had been identified in a theft the day before.
A student saw a man on Thursday taking stereo equipment from Ferguson Hall. The student chased him to the thief’s car and was able to get the license plate number before the thief escaped.
The license plate was traced to its owner, who was not aware that her car was stolen.
When Miner recognized the car, he attempted to stop the suspect, Thomas Allan Boldt of St. Paul. At that point, Miner reported, Boldt drove off.
Miner said he pursued the suspect for about 10 minutes, as Boldt led University Police through Minneapolis and into St. Paul. Minneapolis police were notified, but Boldt crossed into St. Paul and out of Minneapolis jurisdiction before they could help. When the suspect entered St. Paul, the St. Anthony police department, which the city of Falcon Heights contracts out, became involved in the chase.
Miner said the pursuit hit high speeds down stretches of University Avenue, and throughout the chase the suspect ran several red lights and stop signs.
The chase ended when the suspect’s tire went flat. “At that point he decided to abandon the vehicle and head out on foot,” Miner said.
A 20-minute foot chase followed, during which Miner said he lost sight of the suspect at some points. Finally, a state fair police officer caught Boldt, acting on the description Miner had broadcast over the radio.
Boldt had some screwdrivers and burglary tools in his possession, but nothing specifically classified as a weapon. However, when chasing suspects, Miner said the possibility they might be armed is a concern. In a prolonged chase such as this one, there is also a possibility that the suspect is in hiding. Depending on the circumstances of the case, officers might sometimes draw their guns while in pursuit, “in the event that the suspect might be armed and lying in wait,” Miner said.
Boldt, who already had a warrant out for his arrest, was charged with motor vehicle theft, fleeing police and possession of theft tools.

Police are investigating many other incidents, as well.

ù University Police are examining numerous reports of a man pleading for money on and near campus.
Detective Larry Anderson said at least two and possibly more incidents involving the unidentified man have occurred during the last few weeks.
One of the incidents occurred on Saturday, April 12, when the man approached a woman on the Washington Avenue Bridge. According to police reports, he first asked where a certain church was located, then began pleading for money to fix a flat tire.
The man said he was trustworthy and would repay the money. According to police reports, the victim said she would write a check to the company coming to fix the tire, but the man told her they didn’t accept checks. Eventually, she relented and gave the man $50.
The man then said, “There is a God,” according to the police report.
When the woman walked toward the Blegen Hall area, where the man said his wife and two-day-old baby were waiting, she didn’t see the man or his car.
Though police have received only two reports of these incidents, Detective Anderson is fairly certain more have occurred.
“I think other people have become victims and haven’t come forward,” he said.

ù Several bicycles disappeared under quirky circumstances this past week.
According to reports, last Friday someone walked right in the front door of a dwelling in the 200 block of Eighth Avenue Southeast.
A witness went to check on noises she heard and saw a person walking down the street with a bicycle. She didn’t realize the bike belonged to her roommate until the thief had disappeared.
In a separate incident, someone walked into the Campus Bike Shop on Oak Street Southeast near Washington Avenue.
Police reports said the female bike thief left false identification at the counter in order to take a bicycle for a test ride and never returned with the bike.

ù University Police are currently investigating a domestic assault incident that allegedly took place on Wednesday. According to the police report, a woman living in Prospect Park accused her husband of physically assaulting her during an argument in the couple’s apartment.
University Police arrived at the apartment about midnight and gave the victim information on how to obtain a restraining order.
Sgt. Joe May of the University Police Department said giving advice to victims is usual police procedure. He said often victims feel overwhelmed or intimidated by bureaucratic processes.
“We try to advise them as to how they can find someone to help them if they feel they need some support,” said May.
The woman’s husband was accused of fifth-degree domestic assault. Lt. Stacy Altman of the Minneapolis Police Department said the degree of assault varies according to the injury inflicted.
First through third degree refers to great bodily harm, while fourth degree refers to an assault of a police officer. A fifth-degree assault is one that involves fear of harm, intimidation and minor injuries.
Photos were taken of the victim’s injuries.