Virginia man charged in theft of military vehicle
A Virginia man is facing four charges after allegedly stealing a military vehicle Wednesday from the Minnesota National Guard Armory in Hibbing. Nathan John Strom, 34, was charged Friday in State District Court in Hibbing with felony theft of a m...
A Virginia man is facing four charges after allegedly stealing a military vehicle Wednesday from the Minnesota National Guard Armory in Hibbing.
Nathan John Strom, 34, was charged Friday in State District Court in Hibbing with felony theft of a motor vehicle and three misdemeanors - test refusal in the third degree, driving while impaired in the fourth degree and driving after revocation. The felony count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According the criminal complaint:
The large military vehicle and trailer were reported stolen from the armory at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, and officers were told it had been seen at the McDonald's about a mile and a half away. When officers responded to the area, the vehicle was leaving McDonald's heading eastbound on State Highway 37.
Police tailed the vehicle with lights and sirens activated for about 2½ miles before it came to a stop just west of Saari Road. According to court documents, during the pursuit, officers noticed the vehicle swerving slightly over the centerline and onto the shoulder at times. The driver waved his hand out the window to indicate the officer should pass him.
Once stopped, the driver did not immediately exit the vehicle or turn it off, the complaint said. Once the driver, identified later as Strom, exited the vehicle, officer noticed he appeared to be highly intoxicated and had a difficult time following commands, the complaint said.
Strom told officers at the scene and later at the police department that he was attempting to get back into the military, that he was taking the vehicle to a mental health unit and that he was "a highly trained military veteran who should be considered a threat to officers," according to court documents.
The complaint states that the keys were left in the vehicle and it was running when it was stolen from the armory. Three individuals from the armory trailed the vehicle until officers arrived.
The cost to replace the truck is $491,382 and the trailer is valued at $58,340; both the vehicle and trailer sustained damage during the theft, the complaint states.
Bail was set at $30,000 and Strom remained in the St. Louis County Jail as of Friday night. He's scheduled to be back in court on Thursday.