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Grand Forks police find stolen pickup

Grand Forks police have found the pickup truck stolen March 28 from a farmyard in Kittson County, Minn., suspected of being used in an ATM burglary in Drayton, N.D.

Grand Forks police have found the pickup truck stolen March 28 from a farmyard in Kittson County, Minn., suspected of being used in an ATM burglary in Drayton, N.D.

According to Police Lt. Rahn Farder, the red 1990 Chevy pickup was found about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of River Street, near the old Central Park area on the south side of downtown.

"It looked like it had parked there awhile," Farder said. "Detectives have processed it for possible evidence, and it will be released to the owner."

The pickup was stolen in the early hours of March 28 from a farmstead in Kittson County, not far across the Red River from Drayton, where the Cenex store was burglarized hours later. An abandoned van was found burning in the same farmyard, apparently left by the person or persons who stole the pickup truck.

Law enforcement wondered at the time if the pickup truck was stolen by the same person or persons who burglarized the Drayton Cenex station hours later, stealing the ATM.

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The store manager said it would be difficult for one person to lift the ATM into the back of a pickup truck. The ATM was found March 31 in a rural area in Marshall County, Minn., with the money gone. Marshall County is just south of Kittson County and also near Drayton.

The ATM was owned by Drayton State Bank, which meant the FBI became involved in the investigation.

Similar burglaries at the Cenex store in Minto, N.D., on March 14 and the Simonson's store in Grand Forks on March 8 also involved "smash-and-grab" thefts of ATMs from the stores using stolen vehicles. On Feb. 23, a man riding a snowmobile broke into the Cenex store in Fisher, Minn., and tried to break into the ATM but failed.

Farder said law enforcement officers from the various jurisdictions are working closely together on the incidents, although no formal link has been announced yet between any of the thefts.

Two Grand Forks men were arrested Thursday in Thief River Falls and charged with the burglary that morning of the Computer Run/Radio Shack store in Thief River Falls. Greg Nordrum, 38, and Zachary Rogers, 23, pleaded not guilty Monday in Pennington County District Court and remain in jail there. Their next court date is scheduled for April 23.

The two men are the focus of interest by investigators looking into the ATM burglaries because of the similar style of the burglars, according to law enforcement officials. But no official connection has been announced between the two men and the ATM burglaries.

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237 or slee@gfherald.com .

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