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Two Minnesotans charged in Wisconsin home invasion

Associated Press

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- Two Minnesota men were charged Tuesday in separate counties following a robbery at an Eau Claire home in which a couple and their infant child were held hostage at gunpoint, authorities said.

Police said the men broke into the home of Brian and Jennifer Brown early Sunday, terrorized the family, stole items from the home and fled in the couple's two vehicles, a Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Trailblazer, before police captured them several hours later.

Brian Brown was tied up while his wife and 1-year-old daughter were kept in a bathroom during the robbery, police said. The couple told police three or four men robbed them.

James M. Pederson, 23, of Minneapolis, was charged Tuesday in Washington County, Minn., with three counts of fleeing an officer, taking a vehicle without the owner's permission and bringing a stolen vehicle into the state.

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Pederson was arrested Sunday in Lake Elmo Park Reserve just across the Minnesota border after police dogs tracked him to a tree, into which he had climbed to hide, authorities said.

He had fled in the stolen Chevrolet after trying to elude police at speeds up to 100 mph, police said.

Rory D. George, 27, of Fridley, Minn., was charged Tuesday in St. Croix County with seven felonies, including two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment of safety and single counts of false imprisonment, burglary, taking hostages, theft and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to court records.

George was arrested near Hudson after he crashed the stolen Nissan and stole a van from a residential treatment facility, authorities said. He was shot once in the buttocks after police cornered him.

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