Update: 2 arrested in State Fair craft beer booth armed robbery


Two people were arrested in connection with last month's armed robbery at the Minnesota State Fair, the fair announced Thursday morning.

A 20-year-old and 35-year-old, both of St. Paul, were arrested, the fair said in the news alert. In addition, the fair said the gun suspected to be used in the robbery was also recovered.

Kyle Loven, chief division counsel and media coordinator for the FBI's Minneapolis division, told BringMeTheNews neither suspect has been charged, and it's not yet known when that might happen. He characterized the investigation as ongoing, and said few details could be made available as of early Thursday afternoon.

The investigation – initially the responsibility of the St. Paul and State Fair police – was handed over to the FBI's Twin Cities Safe Streets Violent Gang Task Force, which Loven said the St. Paul Police Department is a member of. When asked if that meant the State Fair robbery was gang related, Loven said he would not characterize it as such, adding not to read too much into the task force's handling of it.

The elder suspect was arrested Sept. 12; the younger Sept. 17, Loven said.

Early reports in the days following the robbery said at least two individuals stole about $10,000 from the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s Land of 10,000 Beers exhibit after closing that night.

State Fair police Public Information Officer Brooke Blakey told KSTP at the time the suspects bound a booth worker and beer supplier.

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

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.

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.

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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