On January 28, at approximately 6:58 a.m., the Stearns County 911 Communications Center received the report of a burglary that had just occurred. The victim said he had discovered a male who had broken into his garage and stolen several of his tools which he loaded into a white truck. The victim confronted the burglar, who said he had knife, and then punched the victim several times in the face. The suspect then fled the burglary scene in a white Chevrolet pickup.
A Deputy responding to the call located the suspect’s truck in the area of on Co. Rd. 17 east of Hwy. 238 in Krain Twp. traveling eastbound. The deputy attempted to stop the truck. The driver did initially comply but fled again a few moments later. As the suspect was fleeing the stop, he forced another vehicle off the road and into the ditch. That driver was not injured. The suspect and truck continued eastbound on Co. Rd. 17 towards Holdingford.
Additional deputies were responding to the area as well. A deputy was waiting by the Wobegon trail, in Holdingford, and observed a white pickup turn off of Co. Rd. 17 onto a side street and parked. The suspect fled the truck to a building located at 521 Main Str. which contains several apartments. The suspect was observed entering one of the units. Deputies on scene established a perimeter to contain the suspect until additional units arrived.
Information was developed rather quickly that indicated this was the residence of the suspect. A search warrant was obtained, and Stearns County negotiators attempted to make contact with the suspect. That effort was unsuccessful. The Stearns County SWAT team was eventually used to make entry into the apartment. The suspect continued to not respond to verbal commands. Entry was made with the assistance of our K9 and the suspect was taken into custody shortly after 11:00 a.m. The suspect was identified as Christopher Kleve, 35, of Holdingford.
Subsequent investigation revealed that the pickup Kleve was driving had been stolen earlier from a residence in the 29000 block of Co. Rd. 17 in Millwood Twp. While the original call was evolving, the 911 center received an additional call regarding the theft of a snowmobile from an address on Sunset Beach Road in Millwood Twp. This location is just west of the location from where the pickup was taken. The caller in the snowmobile theft also reported a truck that was left at their residence. Continued investigation resulted in information that the truck left at Sunset Beach Rd. had been stolen from a residence in the City of Sauk Centre. Kleve is also believed to have committed a gas drive off early in the evening on January 27 in the City of Albany and his vehicle was later found on Co. Rd. 186 just SE of the City Limits of Sauk Centre.
Kleve has been booked into the Stearns County Jail on two counts of 2nd -Degree Burglary, Fleeing Police in a Motor Vehicle and Criminal Damage to Property. At this time additional charges are pending the conclusion of the investigation.