Handcuffed man steals cruiser, evades police


An alleged car thief is accused in a high-speed chase with two twists: He was handcuffed and in a squad car.

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By Lora Pobst
The Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — After being accused of leading police on a high-speed chase through the west metro and into a Minneapolis neighborhood this spring, a Plymouth man hit the road again last week. But this time he was behind the wheel of an unmarked police car, which he allegedly commandeered even though he was handcuffed.

Michael E. Rekow, 37, has been charged in Dakota County District Court with felony counts of motor vehicle theft, fleeing a police officer and identity theft after he stole a police car right in front of officers and led them on another chase -- this time across the south metro.

Last week, Inver Grove Heights police officers noticed a vehicle parked near a dumpster in a parking lot. Rekow was standing near the open driver's door and ducked when he saw the headlights of the unmarked squad car.

Officers approached Rekow, who told them he was waiting for a friend. After realizing that there were warrants out for Rekow's arrest, the officers handcuffed him and placed him in the back of the unmarked squad car.

A woman was sleeping in the back of the vehicle Rekow had been standing next to, and while officers were talking to her, they heard loud screeching tires and looked up to see Rekow peeling out in the unmarked squad car, the charges say.

Chase of several miles

He took off speeding and drove onto Interstate 494. The chase continued for several miles until the unmarked squad car hit so-called stop sticks placed on the road. When Rekow got out of the car, he was still wearing handcuffs. He is being held in the Dakota County jail on $5,000 bail.

The chase Rekow prompted this May began after a Plymouth police officer tried to pull him over in a stolen SUV. Rekow drove through New Hope, Crystal, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park, Edina and into Minneapolis at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour before he crashed into a parked car in the Bryant neighborhood. In that case, he was charged with fleeing a police officer. He was previously wanted on felony warrants related to vehicle and credit card theft.

Copyright 2008 The Star Tribune

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