Charges: Thief stole pickup as owner shoveled, but got stuck in the snow

The thief was then punched in the face by the owner's son.
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Kong Meng Thao

A man who stole a pickup while its owner shoveled nearby didn't make it very far thanks to the snow.

The attempted theft happened on Friday morning on the 1400 block of Fremont Avenue in St. Paul, as the owner of the Toyota Tacoma was letting her vehicle warm up as she spread salt and shoveled snow.

It was at this point she saw Kong Meng Thao, 28, of Cook Avenue in St. Paul, approach her Tacoma and get in the driver's seat.

The owner yelled for family members as Thao tried to drive off, almost hitting her as he drove past her.

But he couldn't get much further, as the Toyota's tires started spinning in the snow, allowing it to only move a few feet and giving the owner's son enough side to jump in the passenger seat.

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He then punched Thao, stopped the pickup and then pushed him out of the truck.

Thao was then detained until police arrived and arrested him.

According to a criminal complaint, he has three previous felony convictions for possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle, and making terroristic threats.

He has been charged in this instance with felony theft of a motor vehicle.

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