Car chase ends in crash with cops near NY Mills
Louis Hoglund firstname.lastname@example.org A shoplifting spree in Perham ended up in a chase by deputies, and a collision near New York Mills. In custody in Otter Tail County jail is Diana Koljonen, 49, New York Mills. She is awaiting formal charges stemming f...
A shoplifting spree in Perham ended up in a chase by deputies, and a collision near New York Mills.
In custody in Otter Tail County jail is Diana Koljonen, 49, New York Mills. She is awaiting formal charges stemming from the shoplifting allegations, traffic stop and subsequent chase that ended Monday evening just east of NY Mills.
According to an Otter Tail County Sheriffs Department news release, the suspect was stopped about 6:30 p.m. by OTC deputies Nathan Selander and Sgt. Scott Koennicke near NY Mills on suspicion of felony theft at Nadines in Perham.
As the deputies spoke to her regarding the incident at Nadines, Koljonen allegedly fled the traffic stop and led deputies on a chase which eventually ended on U.S. Highway 10 just east of NY Mills. Koljonen, according to the report, attempted to ram one of the squad cars which resulted in a collision. The pursuit ended when deputies disabled her vehicle by pinning the vehicle between the two squad cars.
Officers were tipped off after an employee at Nadines clothing store in Perham became suspicious of a shopper.
She (the suspect) had been in the store for a half hour. It was late in the day, and we had only one employee on, said Denise Schornack, owner of Nadines. This gal was a real pro.
After she was apprehended, officers also found merchandise from two other downtown Perham businesses in the suspects possession - without evidence of payment.
In total, there were 110 items, valued at about $2,000, that were believed to be shoplifted, according to the Perham Police Department.
From Nadines alone, the estimated value of merchandise stolen was nearly $1,400. Handbags, wallets, jewelry, keychains and clothing were among the items, said Schornack.
The incident really points to the need for Perham businesses to band together and form strategies for detecting and reporting suspected shoplifters, said Schornack.
Both of the other business owners were surprised to hear of the possible shoplifting from their stores. Not only did they not suspect the woman, one of the owners recognized her as a paying customer in the past.
Charges against Koljonen may vary from felony fleeing and assault, to theft and drug charges. She was scheduled to make a formal court appearance Wednesday morning, April 26, when this edition of the newspaper went to press.