Linwood fire destroys garage, cause still being determined

A man from Hastings faces charges of possession of stolen property and fleeing officers after a chase on Thursday, Nov. 11, that took place in Wyoming and Stacy. 

According to the criminal complaint, 34-year-old Ryan Wetteland stole a vehicle belonging to a woman from Chisago County while in St. Paul, and later led officers in a chase in Wyoming near the Stacy border. The woman was preparing to fill up her vehicle at a gas station in St. Paul that morning when Wetteland allegedly jumped in the vehicle, drove a short distance, where he picked up his girlfriend, and fled. The woman filed a police report in St. Paul. 

Around 1 p.m. that afternoon, the suspect showed up in the stolen vehicle at the home of the vehicle’s owners. 

“It was most likely going to be a home invasion or burglary,” Wyoming Police Chief Paul Hoppe said. 

The husband of the victim was at home when he saw the car pull up, called 911, and told dispatchers where the vehicle had gone. Wyoming Sgt. Brian Rod was able to intercept the vehicle on Stacy Trail near Interstate 35, and when he tried to pull the vehicle over, the suspect fled, initially going northbound on Interstate 35. At one point, the suspect used an emergency turnaround and proceeded to go north in the southbound side into oncoming traffic. Rod terminated the pursuit and followed the vehicle, which exited onto the County Road 17 on-ramp, then turned around to go to the correct side southbound. The driver then evaded stop sticks and was driving at speeds in excess of 100 mph. 

Chisago County Sheriff’s Office and North Branch Police Department responded for assistance and were able to box in the vehicle. Chisago County Sheriff’s Office performed a PIT maneuver, which disabled the vehicle. 

Wetteland fled on foot westbound into the woods, where he was quickly found and arrested. The female passenger was arrested but will not face charges.

According to the criminal complaint, following Wetteland’s arrest, he admitted to stealing the vehicle in St. Paul and using heroin that morning.

Fire in Linwood

A fire destroyed a garage in Linwood on Wednesday, Nov. 10, but no one was injured. At 5:40 a.m., the Linwood Township Fire Department was called to the fire near 226th Lane Northeast and Martin Lake Road Northeast, where firefighters found the garage fully on fire.

The fire caused a power outage to several homes in the area; power was restored later that morning. No one was in the garage at the time of the fire, though two cats sustained burns and are being cared for by animal control. 

Rumors about an explosion had surfaced on social media, but the Linwood Fire Department said it is not believed to be related to the cause of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hannah Davis is the Area Editor at the Forest Lake Times. You can contact her at hannah.davis@ecm-inc.com or (763)233-0709

Load comments