By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man searching for drugs wound up stealing a car that happened to have three children inside.

It happened Christmas Eve night in the Loring Park neighborhood.

Police say 28-year-old Samuel McFarlane was just released from jail and was on the hunt for drugs when he spotted the car, running.

According to police reports McFarlane was in downtown Minneapolis looking for drugs but couldn’t find any.

Instead he found a crime of opportunity that involved a theft, kidnapping and police chase.

“He was released from jail on the 23rd and then on the 24th he’s out walking around and saw an opportunity to commit another crime,” said Sgt. Catherine Michal.

Court records say McFarlane saw a running car sitting outside the Super America on Grant Street West and LaSalle Avenue.

“And he went and got into it,” Michal said.

What he didn’t know is there were five children, ranging in ages from 1 to 13 inside the idling car.

“The children tried to keep him out of the car they tried to lock the car doors and also tried to take the key out of the ignition,” said Michal.

Court records say two of the children were able to get out of the car and run into the store, to let the adults know the car had been taken.

McFarlane left the parking lot. He did not get far before he decided to get the remaining children out of the car.

“He let them go, he pushed some of them out of the car and ran over one of their legs,” Michal said.

The children made it back to the SA.

McFarlane was noticed by a Minnesota State Trooper in the stolen car in Maple Grove.

There was a chase.

Court documents say McFarlane rammed multiple police vehicles during the chase that went from Maple Grove to Rogers and reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

He was eventually caught.

McFarlane told police he was looking for drugs and noticed the car.

Michal says we all can do little things to keep from becoming victims of a crime of opportunity.

“What we can do as citizens is we can keep the keys out of the car unless we’re inside of it,” Michal said.

The little girl who had her leg run over has a temporary cast on and cannot walk on the leg.

The other children are fine.

McFarlane faces serious felony charges of kidnapping and criminal vehicular operation, crimes that could land him in jail for up to two decades.

Reg Chapman

Comments (2)
  1. Always leave your car running unattended, only good things can happen! Hope the police ticket the owner for ordinance violation.

  2. The owner of the car should be charged or ticketed for child endangerment!