Authorities charged a man with stealing an unoccupied Metro Mobility bus that was left running on a frigid St. Paul morning, then leading police on a multicity pursuit until his arrest several hours later.
Brandon S. Brose, 31, of Minneapolis was charged in Ramsey County District Court last week with two felonies, motor vehicle theft and fleeing police, in connection with the chase Jan. 20 through St. Paul, Woodbury, Mahtomedi, White Bear Township, White Bear Lake and Roseville.
Brose remains jailed in lieu of $15,000 bail ahead of a court appearance on Feb. 7. His attorney, Carole Finneran, said she hoped to learn more about the allegations Wednesday and then comment about the case.
Prosecutors say that Brose also is being investigated for two other recent Metro Mobility bus thefts.
According to the criminal complaint:
The driver told police that she started the bus shortly before 4 a.m. outside the facility for First Student, a company that operates Metro Mobility buses, which is just north of the St. Paul Downtown Airport. She said she drove it to her personal vehicle, got out to collect some items and the vehicle was stolen when she left it running.
With the aid of GPS tracking on the bus, law enforcement determined the many east metro cities where the vehicle traveled.
"Officers from several jurisdictions engaged their emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to stop it," the complaint read. "During each attempt, the driver refused to stop and continued driving."
About 9:15 a.m., a sheriff's deputy tailed the bus from Roseville to Western and Minnehaha avenues in St. Paul. The deputy saw the driver ignore stop signs and break other traffic laws.
Deputies eventually found the bus in the 800 block of Edmund Avenue, where it had stopped and was unoccupied.
Brose was spotted walking nearby, and a deputy told him he was suspected of stealing a Metro Mobility bus. Seized from him was a syringe and a glass bubble typically used to smoke methamphetamine.
A search of the bus revealed that its cameras were covered in shaving foam. Surveillance video showed that Brose put the foam on the cameras about 30 minutes after the bus was stolen.
At the time of pursuit, there were two arrest warrants out for Brose on suspicion of burglary and auto theft.