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Police catch Hudson Freedom station armed robber

A high-speed chase led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man accused of robbing the Freedom Valu Center on Coulee Road in Hudson early Sunday morning.

Police say Jason Steven Kearns of Bay City displayed a black handgun to a lone store employee, demanded money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. He was said to be wearing a white motorcycle-type jacket and a blue bandana across his face.

Hudson police officers and St. Croix County Sheriff's deputies were notified of the robbery at 5:24 a.m.

While responding to the gas station and convenience store at 1917 Coulee Road, Hudson police reportedly spotted Kearns riding a motorcycle from the scene at a high rate of speed, heading into Minnesota on Interstate 94.

Kearns is said to have fled when police attempted to stop him, and a chase ensued. He reportedly abandoned his motorcycle near Hwy. 5 and Hwy. 36 in Stillwater, and was taken into custody a short time later without incident.

A press release from the Hudson Police Department said a Freedom Valu Center bag containing money and a BB gun believed to have been used in the robbery were recovered from the scene of the arrest.

Police learned that the motorcycle had been stolen out of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., on Tuesday, July 31, according to the press release.

Kearns was jailed on suspicion of armed robbery, knowingly fleeing a police officer and warrants out of Wisconsin.

He was on probation for prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property and burglary in Pierce County. Four prior counts of driving a vehicle without the owner's consent were dismissed in plea agreements.

Kearns was serving time for a Minnesota conviction when he was sentenced in Pierce County in 2010.

The investigation of the Hudson robbery is on-going, the Hudson Police Department said in the Sunday, Aug. 5, press release.

Washington County, Minn., and St. Croix County sheriff's deputies assisted in the apprehension of Kearns.