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Stolen SUV recovered near Amboy

NEW ULM — A 32-year-old St. Paul man suspected of stealing an SUV in New Ulm Tuesday night was arrested without incident Wednesday morning while walking near U.S. Highway 169 near Amboy.

Following a tip that the suspect, Matthew Smith, tried to get fuel in Amboy, deputies found the SUV unoccupied on Highway 169 at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday. The glove box was open and a handgun — reported to have been in the vehicle when it was stolen — was not located.

Smith was seen walking along U.S. Highway 169 at about 9 a.m. Wednesday when Blue Earth and Faribault County Sheriff’s Office deputies took him into custody without incident.

Smith was transported to New Ulm and booked into the Brown County Jail late Wednesday morning.

New Ulm Police said the SUV, owned by a New Ulm man, was reported stolen from Kwik Trip, 1521 S. Broadway at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday. Believed to be a retired police interceptor, the vehicle had a spotlight and handgun in the glove compartment, according to a stolen vehicle report.

Lake Crystal Police reported spotting the stolen SUV eastbound on State Highway 60 at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police pursued the SUV a short distance before losing sight of it.

The handgun reported to have been in the SUV when it was stolen was not in the vehicle when it was recovered, according to a Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office media release.

Area law enforcement searched the Amboy area with K9 units and air support assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol, but did not locate the suspect Tuesday night.

Police believe the SUV theft is related to an assault reported at the McDonald’s restaurant, 1705 S. Broadway, reported at 9:01 p.m. Tuesday. Police and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident in which a victim said a male walked up to his window and punched him in the face, unprovoked. The male then left the scene on foot.

New Ulm Police continue to investigate the incidents. Anyone with information can call New Ulm Police at 507-233-6720 or the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office at 507-304-4863.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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