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Police: Man dumped stolen Woodbury car in Wisconsin

Police this month arrested a homeless man accused of stealing a Woodbury resident's car and intentionally crashing it in Wisconsin with hopes that it would never be seen again.

Andrew W. Hammett, 20, was charged by warrant in June with one count of motor vehicle theft, a felony. He was booked July 4 into Washington County jail. A criminal complaint in the case lists a Cottage Grove address for Hammett, though investigators noted that he "is believed to be homeless."

According to the complaint, witnesses who knew Hammett told police they saw him driving a green Ford Focus that had been reported stolen in March 2012 from an Upper Afton Road residence.

Hammett, who showed one of the witnesses where he had stolen the car, drove it three weeks later to an area near Somerset, Wis.

According to the complaint, Hammett intended to dump the car "where no one would find it." The complaint states he intentionally crashed the car - an act that was observed by witnesses who spoke with police. The car was found by St. Croix County deputies in April.

Hammett also faces charges from a series of events that happened in Woodbury 10 days after the stolen car was discovered.

According to a complaint summarizing those charges for burglary and theft, witnesses turned over information against Hammett involving April 22 incidents on Dell Lane North and Edgewood Avenue in Woodbury.

An eyewitness told police he was with Hammett during the burglary of a garage in the 6100 block of Dell Lane. In that instance, Hammett allegedly stole golf clubs from the garage and sold some of them at a West St. Paul used sporting goods store.

Police located the clubs at the store; the owner of the missing clubs identified them as his.

The remaining clubs were recovered in a garage where one of Hammett's friends lived. The friend, identified in the complaint as B.M.M., told police she was driving the car Hammett was in the night of the golf-club theft.

In the Edgewood Avenue incident, the first eyewitness said he was with Hammett when they came upon an SUV in the 6200 block of Edgewood Avenue. Hammett was unable to start the SUV with keys he found inside it, so the two males pushed it down the driveway, leaving it in the middle of the street.

Hammett then stole a purse left inside the SUV, according to witness statements.

He makes his initial court appearance Thursday, July 19.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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