A Mendota Heights police officer driving through South St. Paul last month made an interesting discovery: a stolen car was being driven in front of his car.
Mariah Rae Warborg, 19, of Minneapolis was arrested and charged with felony auto theft after being pulled over by the officer on Nov. 21.
According to a Dakota County criminal complaint released this week:
When the officer performed a license plate on the car in front of her, she learned the car had been reported stolen the previous night. She stopped the car and found Warborg, who was driving, and passengers in the car.
The officer also reportedly discovered a purse and wallet belonging to the registered owner of the car in the back seat.
Warborg allegedly told the officer that a male friend and another man picked her up at her house, but she was driving because the man was too intoxicated to drive. They were heading to a friend’s house to “chill,” but got lost. Warborg said she did not know the vehicle was reported stolen.
Another woman in the car allegedly told the officer that she and Warborg were at a house in Minneapolis when the men arrived to give them a ride to a bowling alley. Because there was not enough passenger space in the car that the men drove to the house, one of the men suggested the group take another car that was parked around the corner.
The group allegedly got in the car and one of the men drove, the woman reportedly said. The man told Warborg to drive after the group stopped at the gas station.
The woman reportedly claimed she did not know the men and did not know the car was stolen.
If convicted of the felony theft charge, Warborg could spend up to five years in jail and pay of a fine of between $3,000 and $10,000.