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Deaf-mute man writes notes to help catch burglary suspect

FARGO, N.D. - A deaf-mute man scribbled notes to help police here identify and arrest a suspect who allegedly robbed the man and broke into a downtown liquor store early today, authorities said.

The victim was riding a bicycle when he flagged down a Fargo bike officer in the 100 block of Broadway at 1:51 a.m., Sgt. Jason Nelson said.

By trading notes with the officer, the 32-year-old victim was able to communicate that the suspect had robbed him of his MP3 player. The victim said he also witnessed the suspect use a baseball bat to smash the front-door window of Steve's Package Store, 524 4th St. N.

Using the description given by the victim, police found the suspect a few blocks away outside The Empire bar on Broadway, where the suspect had jumped into a stranger's car, Nelson said.

Ayub Abukar, 27, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of burglary, robbery and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle. He was booked into the Cass County Jail.

The suspect didn't get away with anything from the liquor store, Nelson said.

"He tried to steal some liquor, but he dropped the bottles exiting the store and they broke," he said.

Fargo police officers aren't trained in sign language, but they always carry a notepad with them, Nelson said.