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Neighbors tackle alleged car thief after vehicle hits light pole in West Fargo

WEST FARGO - Police say neighbors chased down and tackled an alleged car thief after he crashed his girlfriend's car into a light pole here Wednesday night.

Police initially received a report at 10:14 p.m. that a car had struck a tree in the 500 block of Fourth Avenue East, and that a person was running and people were chasing him, Officer Ryan Denis said.

The tree turned out to be a light pole. When officers arrived, they found that three men from the neighborhood already had the suspect in custody, having tackled him about a block from where the Oldsmobile Alero was allegedly stolen, Denis said.

Police arrested Martin J. Hulst, 25, of Fargo, on suspicion of motor vehicle theft, hit-and-run, driving under the influence, driving under suspension and driving without liability insurance.

The Oldsmobile was totaled, Denis said.

"They had to cut the light pole out of the front of the car," he said. "It was wedged in there. He ended up driving ... all the way up into someone's yard with the light pole attached to the vehicle."

The car belonged to Hulst's girlfriend, who was visiting someone in West Fargo, Denis said.

Hulst wasn't injured in the crash, but he sustained some small cuts inside his mouth, possibly from being tackled, Denis said.

Hulst was taken to the Cass County Jail.