Crime

Man charged after sleeping in random car

Greg Marsten | Staff writer
Randall Ardnt
Has a lengthy history with stolen cars, high-speed pursuits
BALSAM LAKE – A report of a man acting suspiciously and loitering at 4 a.m. last Tuesday, Feb. 12, at a Dresser gas station that was about to open led a Polk County sheriff’s deputy to the store.
The reporting party had repeatedly asked the man if he needed help, but he refused. When a deputy arrived on-scene, they found the man in question slumped over the wheel of a Cadillac in the parking lot, with snow on the vehicle.
When asked about what he was doing, the man said he had been walking all night after a domestic fight, and that he was cold. He told the deputy that he had asked the owner of the Cadillac if he could sleep in it and he said he could.
The deputy knew that was not true and had seen the Cadillac in the lot over an hour earlier, and the actual owner was nowhere to be found.
The sleeping man was identified as Randal Arndt, 34, Somerset, and the deputy knew Arndt had a lengthy history of incidents involving police pursuits and had reportedly even stolen a car from the same parking lot in the past. One of Arndt’s pursuits had been long and dangerous, and the deputy also noted that there had been a number of break-ins to vehicles in Dresser lately.
The actual owner of the Cadillac was contacted and she said the car had broken down and would be addressed later; but she confirmed that no one had given Arndt permission to enter the vehicle.
Arndt was taken into custody for trespassing and disorderly conduct, with the deputy noting that when Arndt was removed from his squad car, there was a piece of broken glass left behind, suggesting perhaps that Arndt had broken into the Cadillac.
Charges against Arndt were pending at press time, although it is unclear if the incident will affect his probation, which was part of an October 2017 plea deal for a variety of felony charges that ultimately were dismissed but included a guilty plea to theft of movable property and also for stealing a car. He also has an extensive past list of convictions, going back several years in both Polk and St. Croix counties.
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