A vehicle that was taken for a test drive from a Spring Lake Park auto business in early August and not returned was found parked in Coon Rapids with two people asleep inside.
Jonathan Thomas Norsten, 36, no permanent address, pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court Sept. 5 to a felony motor vehicle theft charge. He will be sentenced Nov. 7.
The afternoon of Aug. 2, Norsten went to Northtown Auto, 8325 University Ave. N.E., Spring Lake Park, said he wanted to test drive a 2001 BMW sedan and after an employee got his identifying information, Norsten was allowed to test drive the car, but he did not return it and the vehicle was reported stolen later that afternoon, according to the complaint.
The early morning hours of Aug. 3, a resident reported to police that a vehicle parked on the street of the 8200 block of Mississippi Boulevard, Coon Rapids, was sounding its horn and the occupants were getting ready to sleep in it.
When officers responded, they found a BMW sedan with the same license plate as the one reported stolen from Northtown Auto and two people inside.
Police identified the occupants as Norsten and a woman, and found inside numerous personal items, including toiletries, clothing, pillow, blankets and several pairs of shoes.
In a post-Miranda statement, Norsten denied stealing the car, claiming that he was simply borrowing it from a dealer who is a friend of his and when he attempted to return it, he could not because it was closed at the time.
However, the woman, in her post-Miranda statement, said that neither she nor Norsten had attempted to return the car to the dealership.
The Northtown Auto employee denied giving Norsten permission to borrow the car.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]