A passenger in a stolen vehicle that fled police following a report of shoplifting in Chisago County has died after the driver crashed into another vehicle.
Authorities say that the report of shoplifting in North Branch at 10:48 a.m. Monday culminated about 15 minutes later with a crash into another vehicle on East Viking Boulevard in Anoka County, with both vehicles then catching fire.
The passenger in the suspect vehicle died from injuries sustained in the crash with the driver still critical. A dog who was in the innocent driver's vehicle also died.
A joint press release from Wyoming Police Department and the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office says the shoplifting incident happened at the Cartfull store at 5630 St. Croix Trail, with a worker giving police the license plate and a vehicle description to 911 dispatchers.
It emerged the vehicle – a 2019 Kia Sedan – had been stolen out of Washington County, with police finding the vehicle on southbound I-35 about ten minutes later, where it exited onto East Viking Boulevard.
A sheriff's deputy attempted a traffic stop, with the suspects fleeing westbound on East Viking Boulevard. The driver then passed another vehicle near Linwood Country Store and Pizza before crossing the double yellow line on a curve and hitting a car coming the other direction.
Both suspects were taken by helicopter to hospitals with critical injuries, with the passenger later dying. The Anoka County Sheriff's Office said that the passenger was a woman while the driver was a man.
The victim in the other vehicle, a woman, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.