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Armed robbers steal $10K from craft beer booth at State Fair

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Minnesota State Fair Police are reporting an armed robbery from a popular craft beer booth at the Agriculture Building Friday night in St. Paul, KSTP says.

State Fair police Public Information Officer Brooke Blakey tells the station at least two suspects bound a booth worker and beer supplier before taking more than $10,000 at the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild's Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit after closing Friday night.

Sources tell KSTP that the amount taken was actually much more.

Even though the fairgrounds close at 11, the Agriculture-Horticulture Building closes at 9 p.m. and the building was closed to the public when the robbery occurred, KSTP says.

Blakey says the victims were able to free themselves within 10 minutes and call for help. According to the officer, eyewitness saw the suspects flee the fairgrounds by foot.

The Star Tribune says the robbery was reported at about 11:15 p.m.

Is was the third year at the fair for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild's Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit, the group's website says.

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The Pioneer Press reports a woman, in a now-deleted Facebook post, said her family was stopped by an officer – not with the St. Paul Police Department – while leaving the fair, who told the trio her husband and 18-year-old son were suspects in the robbery.

According to the paper, the woman said multiple police officers showed up at their house later that night while she and her family were sleeping, and asked for her husband and son's names and birth dates.

The woman suggested in the post they were targeted because of race, but St. Paul police Public Information officer Paul Paulos told the Pioneer Press the follow-up at home was for officer and public safety. Blakey told the paper that family was determined to be not connected to the crime.

According to police officials, the armed robbery is the first of its kind at the State Fair. Though FOX 9 reported in 2012 two men were charged with stealing $24,000 from a safe at the fair's French meadow building that year.

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