A new arrest warrant has been issued for a Faribault man after he allegedly fled from Mayo Clinic Health System Waseca after deputies discovered him in a stolen vehicle.
Alex Richard VanErp, 27, has been charged in Waseca County Court with theft and third-degree burglary, both felonies.
According to the criminal complaint, the Waseca County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch in the early hours of April 24. Deputies located a man, later identified as VanErp, slumped over in the driver’s seat of a pickup that had entered the ditch along 360th Avenue and 110th Street. The truck was still running and in gear with the rear tires still spinning. Deputies reported the tires had been spinning so long that nearly all the tread was gone and they were smoking, eventually setting the nearby grass on fire, according to the report.
Once the vehicle was put in park and shut off by law enforcement, deputies tried several times to interact with VanErp to see if he was hurt or injured. The report states VanErp did not respond and was barely able to move or open his eyes. Medical personnel was called to the scene and ambulance staff were able to get a response from VanErp, who stated he was traveling from Faribault to Dundas. When VanErp was informed he was near Waseca, first responders stated that he appeared shocked by that information.
Dispatch advised deputies that VanErp had multiple active warrants. Once VanErp was transported to the Waseca hospital, law enforcement informed hospital staff that he would be taken into custody following his evaluation. Later that day, hospital staff informed dispatch that VanErp had left the hospital.
On April 26, deputies connected with the registered owners of the vehicle VanErp was located in. The owners said they did not know and had never met VanErp. The pickup in question had been taken from the shed, where the owners said they stored the vehicle with the keys in the ignition, according to court documents.
Deputies have been unable to locate VanErp since he left the hospital.
VanErp currently has two active warrants in Steele County, both for theft. There is also one active warrant for VanErp out of Rice County.
VanErp has previously been convicted in three separate theft cases, all in Rice County and all misdemeanor convictions. He was also convicted in 2012 in Rice County for felony-level credit card fraud.