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Cda Casino Thwarted Man Using Coroner’s Credit Card

FRIDAY, JAN. 30, 1998

FOR THE RECORD (January 31, 1998): Facts incorrect: A stolen credit card someone tried to use at the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Bingo Casino belonged to Coroner Dexter Amend’s son, not the coroner. Also, Amend family members say neither the coroner nor his son, Dexter Amend Jr., have ever been to the casino. A story in Friday’s paper about the stolen card was incorrect.

Hoping for a cash advance from a North Idaho casino, a 19-year-old Spokane man tried passing himself off as Dexter Amend, Spokane County’s 78-year-old coroner, police said.

Spokane police said Gene Drake asked for an $800 advance Tuesday at the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Bingo Casino in Worley.

He used Amend’s stolen credit card and a Washington state ID card with Drake’s picture and Amend’s name, authorities said.

A casino cashier, who knew Amend as a regular customer, foiled the plan.

Drake left the casino without getting a cent.

Shortly afterward, a Subaru station wagon was stolen from the gambling hall’s parking lot.

The next day, Spokane police found the Subaru parked in the driveway of an apartment in the 4700 block of North Regal.

Inside the apartment, Albert Vangrimbergen, 18, and a woman were questioned by police. The pair said they were the only ones home and allowed officers to search the apartment.

They found Drake hiding under a crib.

Police said Drake had the phony ID and the stolen car’s title in his possession while Vangrimbergen had the keys to the car.

Officers also found a shotgun in the Subaru, prompting Drake to be arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Drake’s prior record was not immediately available, police said.

Drake and Vangrimbergen were both booked into the county jail for possession of stolen property.

, DataTimes MEMO: Cut in Spokane edition

Cut in Spokane edition


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