The Minnesota State Patrol stopped more than 500 vehicles during a recent speed enforcement campaign on several stretches of Twin Cities freeways. Several lead-footed drivers then took off on foot to escape consequences, only to be tracked down by MSP Flight support and K-9 units.

Troopers stopped 516 vehicles for speeding during the Highway Enforcement for Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) campaign. Those stops led to 23 DWI arrests and six outstanding warrants.

Additional figures:

  • 80 drivers did not have a valid license.
  • 22 broke the hands-free cell phone law.
  • 13 did not move over for an emergency vehicle.
  • Six were not wearing their seat belt.

The news release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety cited several instances where aviation support assisted officers on the ground.

MSP Flight tracked a carjacked vehicle to a Minneapolis home in one case where officers took several individuals into custody without incident.

Robbinsdale police asked for help after a pursued vehicle crashed and the driver fled on foot. MSP Flight used thermal imaging to locate the suspect. A police K-9 unit tracked and apprehended the individual. A gun was located in the incident.

Another time MSP Flight tracked a vehicle that fled from the police then voluntarily stopped at a Minneapolis business. Officers set up a perimeter, entered the establishment and apprehended the suspect without further incident.

Chief of Minnesota State Patrol Colonel Matt Langer says in the news release, "The goal of these HEAT patrols was to combat dangerous driving through speed enforcement while making a difference related to violent crime. The hard work by our troopers over the 10 days of HEAT accomplished both."

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