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Mike Nowatzki, Published February 18 2009

Police arrest two in car theft, looking into possible connection to recent spree

UPDATED 11:32 a.m.

FARGO - Police here say two people arrested in connection with a stolen car Tuesday night may be connected to a recent rash of car thefts in the metro area.

“It does appear they’re linked to the other ones,” Sgt. Mark Lykken said Wednesday.

Police believe the cases are linked because the steering column had been smashed in the 1995 Buick Century, as it had been in some of the other approximately dozen vehicle thefts in the metro area in recent weeks, Lykken said.

Several of the recent thefts also involved Buick cars from the 1990s or ’80s.

Police arrested Charles Butcher, 26, of Moorhead, and a 16-year-old juvenile male from Fargo on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle.

According to Lykken:

At 8:46 p.m. Tuesday, officers took a report of a light blue Buick car stolen from The Northern.

Two officers on patrol at 11:51 p.m. in the 500 block of Third Avenue North noticed a light blue Buick that matched the description of the stolen car and followed it.

The car pulled over in the 500 block of Broadway. Officers ran the plate and found that it wasn’t the stolen vehicle from The Northern, but they called the registered owner and confirmed it to be stolen.

The driver fled the car on foot, and officers detained the passenger.

Officers found and arrested the driver about a block away in the Hardee’s parking lot at 662 6th Ave. N.

Butcher was being held in the Cass County Jail. The teenager was in juvenile detention and will be referred to juvenile court, Lykken said.

Moorhead Police Lt. Tory Jacobson said the recovered 1995 Buick Century was reported stolen from a Concordia College student.