Guilty plea for vehicle theft, fleeing police in Anoka

A Coon Rapids man has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to felony charges that he drove a stolen vehicle in Anoka, then fled police in it.

Travis Allen Gardner, 26, 12390 Zea St. N.W., entered a guilty plea Sept. 4 to felony motor vehicle theft and fleeing police in a vehicle counts and will be sentenced Oct. 9. He was released on his own recognizance following his plea.

The evening of Aug. 6, an Anoka Police officer received information that a Ford Explorer that had been reported stolen in Fridley July 30 was in Anoka and he located it in the parking lot of the boat landing on Adams Street.

According to the complaint, the officer watched the parking lot for some time before a male wearing white shorts, but no shirt, walked round the vehicle, then got into it and drove off on to Second Avenue in a southerly direction.

The officer in an unmarked squad car pulled in behind the Explorer and activated the lights and siren in an effort to stop the vehicle, but the driver accelerated away and drove at 50 and 60 mph through residential streets that had a 30 mph speed limit before bailing on Monroe Street where it ends at 10th Avenue.

Residents reported seeing a man wearing white shorts and no shirt running in the area of Wedgewood Drive in Coon Rapids.

Then a couple pointed an Anoka Police officer to Zea Street where the officer found a man, later identified as Gardner, wearing white shorts and no shirt sweating profusely and trying to kick in the door at a residence on the 12300 block of Zea.

The officer who had seen the man get into the stolen Ford Explorer and then flee him identified Gardner as the driver.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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