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By Ryan Johnson, Grand Forks Herald, Published December 23 2009

UPDATED: Suspect named in Grand Forks Fairfield Inn robbery

About midnight this morning, authorities arrested a suspect in connection with a Dec. 9 robbery at the Fairfield Inn in Grand Forks.

The suspect was identified as Kyle Steven Pederson, 23, from Grand Forks. He was taken into custody by members of the Grand Forks Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

At a press conference this morning, Police Capt. Kerwin Kjelstrom said the suspect was arrested at the Budget Inn Express on South Washington Street. Pederson was staying at the motel but has a separate Grand Forks address.

Kjelstrom said the arrest was because of the cooperation of numerous regional law enforcement agencies. “This has been strictly a team effort,” he said. “Grand Forks we consider a safe community, and we are working to keep it a safe community.”

He said he didn’t believe any of the cash taken from the Fairfield robbery had been recovered, and authorities hadn’t recovered a weapon, either.

Pederson became a suspect “through cooperation with citizens of Grand Forks,” who called in numerous tips, and his name came up in connection to the hotel robbery, Kjelstrom said.

It was unclear if the Fairfield robbery was a targeted incident or a random act, he said.

Kjelstrom declined to say whether authorities believe Pederson was involved in the other seven robberies that have happened in the region in the past two weeks, and said the investigation is still ongoing. “I can only address the Fairfield robbery that we’ve arrested him for,” he said.

Chief Mike Hedlund of the East Grand Forks Police Department told the Herald local law enforcement agencies are still asking anyone with information regarding the eight regional robberies to call authorities.

He said police believe “this is an absolutely safe region,” but local residents and businesses still should take safety precautions such as locking houses and vehicles and following tips to help make a business less likely to be robbed.

Hedlund said he couldn’t answer if authorities believe Pederson was involved in the Dec. 18 robbery of Orton’s Point Tesoro in East Grand Forks.

Pederson might make a court appearance this afternoon in district court to be charged with the Fairfield Inn robbery.

Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com.