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FULL STORY: Two arrested near Rushmore in connection to Rock Rapids, Iowa vehicle theft

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RUSHMORE — If vehicle theft is limited to those that are locked and not running, then a Brainerd man didn’t steal a vehicle from Rock Rapids, Iowa, he argued Wednesday morning to the Nobles County deputy who arrested him near Rushmore.

Nicholas X. Stone, 24, said his decision to take a parked, unlocked and running Ford-150 vehicle in Rock Rapids, Iowa Wednesday morning was “an answer from God,” as noted in the criminal complaint filed Thursday in Nobles County District Court.

The vehicle’s passenger, Marcus R. Maurstad, 22 of Onamia, was also arrested and booked into the Nobles County Jail.

Both have been charged with felony possession of stolen property, which has a maximum penalty of up to five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both. Stone additionally faces gross misdemeanor charges of giving a false name to a peace officer.

The charges stemmed from an alleged vehicle theft reported sometime mid-morning Wednesday in Rock Rapids, Iowa. The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office was provided with a description of the vehicle and advised it may be heading east toward Nobles County. A deputy began stationary radar at Interstate 90 near mile marker 35.

The deputy later stopped a vehicle matching the description. The driver — later known to be Stone — allegedly provided the deputy a name of another individual who had their driving privileges revoked. While writing a ticket, additional information regarding the stolen vehicle and the suspect’s appearance was provided by the Minnesota State Patrol.

As a result, Stone and Maurstad were both arrested.

En route to the Nobles County Jail in Worthington, Stone said he didn’t steal the vehicle, because “the keys were already in it … and it was running,” the complaint cites.

He said his recollection was “fuzzy” and he’d had a long couple of days. Stone said the false name he had originally provided the officer belonged to “just some guy” he knew. He claimed to have provided the false name because he “wasn’t going to tell on himself.”

Maurstad declined to provide a statement to law enforcement after being read his Miranda Rights.

Maurstad’s conditional bail was scheduled at $10,000 or $30,000 unconditional.

Stone’s conditional bail was set at $12,000 or $36,000 without conditions.