ST. CLOUD -- A man has been arrested after taking a St. Cloud squad car for a joy ride Thursday night.

An officer was called to Kwik Trip at 6250 County Road 120 at around 7:15 p.m. in response to a suspicious person call.

The officer made contact with a man in the parking lot identified as 25-year-old Alexander Butcher. Police say Butcher was cooperative and they determined nothing criminal happened.

As the officer went inside the store to speak with an employee, Butcher entered the unlocked squad car and left the scene.

The Stearns County Dispatch Center tracked the vehicle to Millstream Park in St. Joseph. St. Joseph Police responded to the park to find the squad car unoccupied and tracks leaving the scene.

Authorities set up a perimeter and called in a police dog and drone to search. During the search, a nearby homeowner called police saying they heard noises in their basement.

Officers learned Butcher had been hiding in an unlocked basement shop but left before police arrived. Police say Butcher was later found hiding in a vehicle outside the home and was arrested.

He's being held in the Stearns County Jail on charges of vehicle theft.

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