Reporting Bill Hudson
CENTER CITY, Minn. (WCCO) — Despite a massive search through a corn field in Chisago County for most of the day a wanted criminal is still on the loose.
Police are looking for 26-year-old Shawn Olthoff. The U.S. Marshall’s Office said it all began when they were attempting to serve a locate and arrest warrant on Olthoff in North Branch.
Authorities said he got into a black Monte Carlo and led them on a high speed chase west of town, which ended in a cornfield about five miles east of Cambridge.
With a state patrol chopper scouring overhead, deputies, troopers and U.S. Marshals worked on foot. But they were unable to find Olthoff, who evaded arrest and ditched his car in the corn field.
“We were watching TV in the morning and police came and raced across the cornfield and we said, that’s unusual,” said Bob Schmidt, a neighbor in the area.
Olthoff has a lengthy criminal record of burglary and firearms violations. Authorities said they think he may have been armed with a knife when he outran Marshals and slipped out of sight. Area homes and outbuildings were searched and neighbors were told to lock their doors.
“They told us about the armed fugitive and that his girlfriend was captured, what his description was and they were just going to each home,” said Shelly Schmidt, a neighbor in the area.
Riding atop a farmer’s combine, deputies had weapons drawn. Canine units worked the ground, hoping to get a scent trail. After exhausting all leads and the search coming up empty, authorities left the scene Friday afternoon.
Olthoff is believed to be a suspect in several armed robberies around the state.