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Charges: Man stole radio from ambulance on a medical call

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A St. Paul man has been charged after stealing a radio from an ambulance that was on a medical call.

Javen Strait, 22, was charged with two counts of theft after a witness saw him go partway inside the ambulance and flee with something in his hand, charges say.

According to the criminal complaint:

At 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, the St. Paul Fire Department responded to a medical call at the LA Fitness on University Avenue West.

That's when a man, who was just about to go inside the gym, saw a person "breach half of his body inside" the ambulance for fewer than 15 seconds.

The man wasn't wearing anything that indicated he worked for the fire department, so the witness yelled at him to stop. The suspect, who has been identified as Strait, took off running, carrying something in his had, the witness said.

The witness, along with a fireman, chased Strait, and found him hiding under a semi-trailer. They detained him until police arrived.

Strait told police he has "mental issues" and was on parole for the same "type of [expletive]."

Medics discovered one of the ambulance's radios was stolen. Investigators later found the radio on the axle of the semi-trailer where Strait was hiding.

Strait also had two police-type radios on him when he was detained, including one that had been stolen from the Minneapolis Police Department.

He claimed he had bought the two radios on Craigslist, and denied stealing a radio from the ambulance, which was valued at $2,100.

Strait has four prior felonies from last year, including two thefts, receiving stolen property and third-degree burglary. One of the theft charges out of Ramsey County involved stealing radio equipment valued at $8,300, which was delivered to him under a fake name via UPS.

If convicted, Strait faces up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine for each theft charge.

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