A Hartland man was arrested Friday after he allegedly tried to take someone’s car and then steal Christmas presents from a nearby home, police said.

The man, Ricky Pederson, 27, initially was involved in a report of a stolen vehicle around 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to a news release Friday from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Sheriff Brandon Lambert went to a Athens Road residence in Hartland, where the owner of the vehicle had said Pederson was seen driving it away. Before the deputy got there, though, the owner and a relative of Pederson found and recovered the vehicle, returning it to the Athens Road home, police said.

While the deputy was there taking the stolen-vehicle report, police received another call reporting a burglary happening on Academy Street in Hartland.

Lambert responded within a few minutes, finding the homeowner there had detained a man — later identified as Pederson — whom they had found in the home. The homeowner had arrived to discover Pederson inside, stacking Christmas presents together “in preparation of stealing them from the home,” according to the release.

The homeowner had called 911 before confronting Pederson, whom he did not know. Pederson tried to walk away but was cooperative once he was confronted by Deputy Lambert.

Pederson later admitted to police that he had been in the home without permission, according to the release. He also admitted that he had taken the stolen vehicle without permission, police said.


Pederson was arrested on charges of burglary and theft, class C crimes; and theft by unauthorized use of property, class D.

While Pederson was searched at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison, authorities said they found three jewelry rings in his boot.

“He confessed that he had stolen the rings from the same house on Academy Street in Hartland,” the sheriff’s release said.

Pederson was on probation at the time of the alleged offenses and remained at the jail on a probation hold.

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