BREAKING NEWS: Alleged carjacking, chase lead to felony charges
An Owatonna man is facing multiple felonies after a wild night that allegedly included a carjacking; two more attempted carjackings and a chase through the city at speeds of more than 80 mph.
Codie James Tesch, 24, will make his initial appearance Thursday in Steele County District Court, where he’s been charged with second-degree aggravated robbery; simple robbery; attempted simple robbery; motor vehicle theft; fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and attempted theft of a motor vehicle, all felonies. He was also charged with tampering with a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor.
The incident began about 7:20 p.m. Oct. 12, when a woman called police to report that a man – later identified as Tesch – had gotten into her SUV while she was unloading groceries. A child was still inside the vehicle, possibly prompting the suspect to run off.
As officers were responding to that call, a second call came in from the same area on Academy Street. The caller said he’d been sitting in his car, letting it warm up, when a man ran up and opened the driver’s side door.
It was allegedly Tesch, who was described as wearing a black hoodie, red hat and jeans; he had his right hand in his sweatshirt pocket – he gestured with it and demanded the driver get out.
The vehicle was still in the area as the officer arrived; Tesch sped toward a cul-de-sac and made a U-turn, then turned west onto Main Street with the officer in full pursuit, the complaint says.
The officer lost sight of the stolen car, the report says, but saw pedestrians who indicated they’d seen the car on Riverside Avenue and Adams Avenue.
The same officer later spotted the car on Sylvan Street, but again lost sight of it.
Throughout the chase, court documents say, Tesch ran several stop signs, reached speeds of more than 80 mph in town and nearly struck the squad car.
More than an hour later, someone reported a suspicious vehicle on Third Avenue Northeast; it was the car that had been stolen earlier, and it was empty.
About the same time, a fourth call came in, reporting that a man had tried to flag him down as he drove on Bigelow Avenue. The caller said he thought the man needed help, but as he slowed down, the suspect ordered him out of the car.
According to the criminal complaint, Tesch held onto the car door as the driver “slammed on the gas” and sped away.
Officers brought in a police dog to track the suspect in the area of 22nd Street and Sixth Avenue Northeast, searching through back yards in the neighborhood.
A fifth 911 call came in, this one from Dawn Place Northeast, where the homeowner said someone was trying to get into their garage.
When officers responded, they heard a voice say, “OK, I’m coming out,” the complaint says, and Tesch came out from under a tote in the yard.
The keys to the abandoned stolen vehicle were reportedly found in his possession.