by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Police arrested a 23-year-old Elbow Lake woman April 20 after locating a stolen vehicle in Elk River.

The incident began shortly after 6:30 p.m. when a person reported a vehicle driving erratically near Rockwoods in Otsego. When authorities checked the plate, the vehicle came back as stolen out of Alexandria, Minnesota.

Officers located the vehicle at Beaudry Express, 610 Proctor Ave., Elk River.

Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz said the woman was arrested for receiving stolen property, controlled substance crimes, driving after revocation, driving after suspension, and DWI.

Man, 18, cited after hitting police squad

An 18-year-old Coon Rapids man was cited for speed and a stop sign violation after hitting an Elk River police vehicle.

An officer was at 181st Avenue and Twin Lakes Road, en route to a call shortly before 9 p.m. April 18, when a 1997 Dodge Ram truck driven by the Coon Rapids teen went through a stop sign and hit the rear passenger quarter panel of the police squad.

Embers from burning cardboard blow onto grass, starting fire

A fire burned about 1,500 square feet of tall grass in the 14000 block of 209th Avenue in Elk River on April 18.

A man had been burning cardboard in a burn barrel when the wind blew embers onto the grass, according to the police report.

The fire was reported at 4:34 p.m. and when police arrived, the fire had spread to within 40 yards of a neighboring house.

Officers used fire extinguishers to contain the fire until the Elk River Fire Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources could arrive and fully extinguish the flames.

Baggie of white crystal matter found in trunk

Charges are pending on a 31-year-old Detroit Lakes woman for fifth-degree controlled substance, driving after suspension, possession of drug paraphernalia, and a seat belt violation, Kluntz said. Police had stopped her vehicle for a license plate light that was out and a suspended object. Paraphernalia was observed in plain view and a search of the vehicle turned up a small baggie of white crystal substance in the trunk, according to the police report.

The stop had been made at Highway 10 and Lowell Avenue in Elk River at 2:25 a.m. April 18.

Tire, rim stolen from Honda Civic in lot

A tire and rim were reported stolen from a 2003 Honda Civic parked in the parking lot at the Pineview Apartments, 23 Third St., Elk River.

The theft was reported to police April 19.

Officers buy two sandwiches for man

A suspicious person was reported to police at 10:17 a.m. April 18. A female was approached by a man at a laundromat on Dodge Avenue in Elk River, and she felt intimidated.

Police located the man, a 20-year-old from Austin, near McDonald’s. He told police that he wanted to go to a hospital and that he was hungry.

Officers bought him two sandwiches and a large water from the restaurant. Elk River Ambulance arrived and transported him to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

Man steals mulch, witness reports him

A witness contacted police after seeing a man place several bags of mulch from Walmart into the bed of a pickup and drive away without paying.

Police made contact by phone with the suspect, a 41-year-old man, and he denied the accusation. Wright County deputies made contact with the suspect, and he admitted taking the mulch. He returned with the mulch and was issued a citation for theft.

Fake ‘Geek Squad’ draws her into scam

A man living in Las Vegas alerted Elk River Police on April 17 to a phone scam involving his aunt, a 77-year-old Elk River woman.

The scam began when the aunt received an unsolicited pop-up notification on her computer that it had suffered a virus. The notification directed the woman to contact “Peter Johnson with the Geek Squad” for repairs. The woman called the number and was requested to allow the suspect access to her computer files and bank accounts. The information was provided and suspect attempted to withdraw money from the woman’s Wells Fargo account, but the withdrawal was denied.

The woman then was directed by the suspect to provide him with her Chase Visa credit card account. The suspect then arranged for Best Buy scratch-off gift cards to be sent to woman’s home. Two gift cards arrived, the woman scratched off the codes and provided the information to the suspect.

Her nephew then heard about the incident and informed his aunt that it was a scam.

Bank and credit card companies were alerted. Best Buy told the woman that she could return any additional Best Buy gift cards that were forthcoming.

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