Thursday evening might have been a quiet one in Oronoco Township if a 73-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman had been a little slower to return home.
Instead, according to police, they arrived home to find 29-year-old Kirsten Hart of rural Byron, who was running out of their back door hefting a bag of their stuff. Surveillance footage would later reveal the loot to be bottles of oxycodone and Ambien, $150 in cash, some debit cards, blank checks, and a phony $1 million bill.
The couple, whose names were left out of ensuing reports, called the Olmsted County Sheriff’s office in hopes that police could nab the accused thief.
But the man wasn't about to wait for deputies to do all the work. Captain Scott Behrns, who responded to the incident, told ABC 6 News the man hopped on a golf cart to scour the woods. Meanwhile, the woman jumped in her car and started a patrol on 18th Avenue.
According to a complaint filed Friday, the woman caught Hart first, pulled over, and wrestled some of the goods out of her hands. But as Behrns told ABC 6, that’s not all she got:
“Captain Behrns said a scuffle ensued, which ended with the victim ripping Hart’s shirt off, leaving Hart topless, with no undergarments on.”
Hart, bare-chested but still fighting, scrambled out of reach, only to have a vehicle pull up alongside her. The driver asked if she “was in trouble and needed help,” and she climbed aboard. The two sped away.
"A short time later,” armed with a description from the woman, deputies caught up with the getaway car and found Hart hiding in the trunk, still half-naked and possibly high. They found a trace substance on her, which she admitted was heroin. She was arrested her and taken to Olmsted County Jail.
This isn’t the first time Hart has brushed against the law. She and 38-year-old Robert Felten of Rochester were implicated in swiping at least 21 iPads from a Rochester school earlier this month, among other things.
Back in July, the pair were found hanging out in a blue SUV by a canoe launch in Wabasha County – along with two handguns, some checkbooks and credit cards belonging to an unwitting acquaintance of Felten’s, and several baggies of what Hart said was heroin but turned out to be cocaine.
Behrns told ABC 6 that as it happened, the two were actually supposed to meet at the Pine Island cemetery the evening Hart got arrested. Instead, Minnesota State Patrol and Goodhue County deputies were waiting for him. Felten took off running, but the officers managed to grab him and arrest him. He happened to have a small amount of meth and some heroin on him at the time.
The incident is still under investigation, so it’s hard to say at this point who will be on the hook for what. Hart is facing possible burglary and possession charges, and Felten is in hot water for fleeing officers, driving under the influence, and drug possession.