Authorities in Minneapolis said a man accused of driving off with a department bait car told officers the car was already stolen when he obtained it.
Investigators said Joe Anthony Arnold, 24, was pulled over shortly after driving off Sunday in the bait car, one of several placed around the city in a bid to nab car thieves, the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.
"After being informed that he was being arrested for auto theft, defendant Arnold stated that the vehicle belonged to a friend of his," Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Paul Scoggin wrote in the criminal complaint. "When officers stated that the vehicle belonged to the city of Minneapolis, defendant Arnold further stated that he could not get in trouble as the vehicle was already stolen."
Arnold pointed out the car had a "peeled" steering column, which gives thieves the ability to bypass the ignition lock and start the car.
Arnold and his passenger, Jelora Jade Clark, 29, were charged with car theft Tuesday and were each jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail.