Charges: Man stole car outside Petco, threw dog out the window into traffic

A 40-year-old man is in custody after he stole a car and threw the owner's dog out of the car and into traffic last week in Fridley, Minnesota.

According to police, at about 2:11 p.m. Sept. 10, police were dispatched to the Petco in Fridley on a report of a vehicle theft in progress.

When they arrived, officers spoke with the victim who said her car was stolen. The victim said she left her car running in the parking lot so she could leave her dog inside. She said because she uses a key fob, she was able to go into the store while the car was still running.

When the victim came out of the store, she saw someone driving her car down the road and watched as the driver threw her dog out of the car and into traffic. Police said the dog was not injured.

The woman used a bystander's phone to call 911 and was able to track her phone, which was still in the car. Officers then responded to the vehicle's location.

Police tried to stop the driver, but he fled at a high speed, driving through residents' yards. Officers ended the pursuit and later learned that a nearby business owner reported a man trying to break into cars in their parking lot.

According to police, the business owner told officers the man parked the car in the garage of their business and closed the garage door behind him. When the garage door closed, it hit a steel plate near the tracks that caused about $1,400 in damage. The man then used wood planks to barricade the garage door shut.

The man, identified as Leeroy Duane Woodbeck, was apprehended by police and taken into custody. When they searched Woodbeck, they found teargas and a bag containing methamphetamine.

He is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, unlawful posession of tear gas by a felon, 5th degree controlled substance, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, and animal cruelty.