A St. Louis Park man has been charged with car theft after police say they stopped him driving a stolen Buick LeSabre last week.
James Lee Norgaard III, 20, is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, a felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Norgaard remains in the Hennepin County Jail on a $1,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled May 2 in Hennepin County District Court.
According to the criminal complaint, compiled by Minneapolis Police Officer Angela Dodge, police were on patrol near Penn Avenue and 12th Avenue North on March 29 when they passed a white Buick LeSabre.
As they passed, all four occupants of the LeSabre turned and looked at the officers, according to the complaint. When police checked the license plate number on the car, they found that it had been reported stolen earlier in the day.
Police arrested all four of the people in the car, including Norgaard, who was driving. While he was being arrested, Norgaard told police that he had been awakened that morning by one of the passengers in the car, who told him he had just stolen a car in southeast Minneapolis and wanted Norgaard to drive it, according to the complaint.
Norgaard and his friend picked up two other friends, both of whom were also aware that the car was stolen, the complaint charges. Only Norgaard was arrested.
Norgaard’s criminal record includes three convictions for theft and one for tampering with a motor vehicle.