'Bait Car' Leads to Arrest in Thefts of Vehicles in Metro

Updated: 05/22/2014 11:10 PM
Created: 05/22/2014 5:07 PM
By: Cassie Hart

A spike in reports of thefts of stalled cars along the highways prompted police to set up a trap in the metro.

Coon Rapids Police parked what they called a “bait car” on the side of the road near Highway 610 and East River Road on Thursday, May 1.

On Thursday, May 8, around 9:30 a.m., officers were alerted that the car was being moved from it's GPS. According to the criminal complaint, officers then observed a red flatbed truck towing the "bait car" behind it.

Police later pulled over the flatbed truck at Coon Rapids Boulevard and 93rd Avenue. They arrested 50-year-old James Jennings of St. Paul.

An investigation revealed another vehicle on Jennings' trailer was also allegedly stolen from Blaine on May 7. Jennings claimed he purchased both vehicles a day earlier in Minneapolis, the complaint states.

Police say Jennings may be responsible for stealing dozens of other cars throughout the Twin Cities. Investigators said Jennings would sell older cars for scrap.

Jennings was in Anoka County Jail Thursday. Charges have been filed.

Photo: KSTP/File

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