Ramsey County / Car shopper really liked the Audi
Trouble was, he couldn't wait to pay
By Brady Gervais
Article Last Updated: 08/25/2008 11:28:16 PM CDT
A Maplewood car salesman was unable to make the sale during a recent test drive.
Why? His hands were tied.
St. Anthony police are looking for a 27-year-old Ham Lake man who they suspect stole an Audi during a test drive earlier this month and tied up the salesman before getting away. They also are looking for the vehicle, which carries a price tag of $73,785, according to a police summary.
"It was kind of an odd one," St. Anthony police Capt. Dominic Cotroneo said of the incident.
On Aug. 14, the suspect went to the Maplewood Audi dealership, asking for a test drive. Near Lauderdale, the suspect pulled into a former Goodwill parking lot, according to the report. There, he tied up the salesman, removed the battery from the man's cell phone and took off in a black 2008 Audi RS4.
The salesman, who was not injured, was able to flag down a driver near Minnesota 280 and Larpenteur Avenue, according to the report.
A few days before the incident, the suspect was at the same dealership and gave his name to an employee, Cotroneo said. That information assisted police in arranging a photo lineup, and the suspect was identified.
Cotroneo said authorities are confident they've identified the right man. The name of the wanted suspect has not been released.
The St. Anthony Police Department, which serves Lauderdale, has notified the Ramsey County attorney's office and expects to hear this week whether charges will be filed, Cotroneo said. The suspect faces possible motor vehicle theft and robbery charges.
A manager at Maplewood Audi declined to comment.
"Until this gets further down the road, I don't have any other comments or details," said Joe Stifter, the dealership's general manager.
Brady Gervais can be reached at 651-228-2171.
Funny thing is I checked my mail today. Had a letter from "Joe Stifter". It has been 12 month since I got my 911 from them and it was just another one of those thank you for being with us letters.