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A man driving a stolen vehicle in Oakdale Saturday afternoon sped through a red light and struck another car, critically injuring an elderly woman driver, according to police.
Oakdale police officers were called to Cub Foods on 10th Street North around 4 p.m. on reports of a panhandler. Once they arrived, officers were told about a suspected stolen vehicle in the parking lot, which was unrelated to the panhandler call.
As police approached the vehicle, the male driver sped out of the parking lot, Oakdale Police Capt. Nick Newton said Sunday. Officers began pursuing the vehicle but tapered off once the suspect entered a residential neighborhood and started driving through some residents' yards.
"It doesn't meet our pursuit policy to chase someone when they're going through a residential area like that," Newton said.
Officers patrolling the surrounding area noticed smoke at a nearby intersection soon after. The driver of the stolen vehicle had crashed into another car while running a red light at the intersection of East Minnehaha Avenue and Century Avenue North, Newton said.
The elderly woman driver he hit was critically injured and taken to a hospital by ambulance. Two female passengers in the stolen vehicle suffered noncritical injuries and were also taken to the hospital.
The suspect exited the stolen vehicle after crashing and ran into Union Cemetery, where he tried to steal another car, Newton said. A citizen at the cemetery tackled the suspect and held him down until officers arrived.
The suspect, a 33-year-old man from Lake Elmo, is in jail, Newton said. Police expect to charge him Monday with criminal vehicular operation, receiving stolen property and fleeing police in a motor vehicle.
Ryan Faircloth • 612-673-4234