A thief who stole a woman’s car outside of a Minneapolis Walmart later called the owner because he could not get the car to start, according to a criminal complaint filed in Stearns County District Court.
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The woman told police she had auto-started the car so would be warm when she finished shopping. When she came out of the store the car was gone, according to police.
Video surveillance at the store shows a man driving away with the vehicle at about 8:35 p.m. A few hours later, the car owner received a call from a woman saying a man was asking her questions about the car.
The phone then changed hands to a man, who told the car owner his name was Wayne Hennen and he worked for a glass repair shop and could not start the car. The man on the phone, later identified as 37-year-old Edward Leroy Wilson, asked the car owner if she could contact someone to help start the car.
During the phone call, police from Isle, a city about an hour away, responded to a suspicious person complaint and found it was Wilson and the stolen vehicle.
After his arrest, Wilson admitted to stealing the vehicle, saying “he knew that it was not a good idea to get in the vehicle,” according to the complaint.
On average, 23 cars are stolen every day in the North Star State, about one car every hour. In 2015, more than 7,900 vehicles were stolen in Minnesota, a total worth of $25.3 million. Out of those vehicles, 6,354 were automobiles, 573 were trucks or buses, and 994 were other vehicles such as snowmobiles or motorcycles.
This number is large, ranking third for the state’s property crimes, the report shows auto thefts have remained fairly level in numbers since 2011.
To help combat the problem, the Minnesota Department of Commerce partnered with local law enforcement, county prosecutors, and community organizations to form the Minnesota Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program.
The program provides funding for local projects help with identification of critical law enforcement issues related to auto theft; auto theft education for officers and citizens; investigation and prosecution of auto theft suspects; collaboration between law enforcement agencies working to reduce auto theft; and prevention of auto thefts which result in lower auto insurance premium.
The Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program is funded from car owners through a surcharge collected from insurance carriers. The surcharge is 50 cents per vehicle for every six months of coverage.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.