February 4, 2009 in City

In brief: Serial robber suspected in pair of incidents


Police suspect a serial robber may be responsible for an OxyContin heist less than an hour after an attempted robbery of a payday loan center Tuesday evening. Police suspect the same masked gunman robbed two Check into Cash stores three times last month.

Employees at Check into Cash at 923 N. Division St. reported an attempted robbery about 6 p.m. At 6:40 p.m., a man matching the same description robbed the Shopko at 9520 N. Division St., said Spokane police Officer Kevin King. The man stole seven bottles of the powerful painkiller, valued at nearly $5,000. The same Check into Cash was robbed Jan. 29, along with the store at 555 E. Francis Ave. That store was also targeted Jan. 20.

The suspect is described as a white male, 18-25 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, 130 to 150 pounds and wearing a black ski mask, light blue or acid-wash jeans, white tennis shoes, gloves and a black hooded jacket or sweatshirt.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS.

Text message leads to drug arrests

A person trying to contact a methamphetamine dealer accidentally text messaged a Spokane police officer instead, leading to two arrests on drug-dealing charges.

Sgt. Brad Thoma received a text message Thursday indicating the sender was looking to buy $50 worth of meth, according to a search warrant filed Monday in Spokane County District Court. Thoma said he contacted the sender, who was looking for a couple identified as Lawrence D. Pogue, 29, and Nicole M. Rardon, 30.

Their phone number differs from Thoma’s by one digit. Thoma had the sender arrange a meeting with the couple, then stopped them as they pulled up in a black Isuzu Trooper.

Police found baggies of methamphetamine on Rardon, then searched the couple’s home at 7121 E. Second Ave., where they found meth, drug pipes and a digital scale, according to a search warrant.

Rardon and Pogue were booked into the Spokane County Jail on Thursday on charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Pogue remains there on $20,000 bond.

Spokane County

Sheriff identifies sex offender in county

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants people to be aware of a sex offender who has moved to the west side of the county.

Carsi James Tikka, 29, is a level 3 sex offender, the classification considered most likely to reoffend. He was convicted of attempted voyeurism involving a 10-year-old boy in Clark County in 2007, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In 1999, he was convicted of attempted first-degree child molestation in Clark County. His victim was a 7-year-old relative, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Tikka is not under Department of Corrections supervision and is not wanted by police, but authorities want the public to be aware of his presence.

Boundary County

Bonners Ferry man dies in single-vehicle crash

A Bonners Ferry man died in a car crash Tuesday morning.

Kenneth Thornbrugh, 62, was driving eastbound on Brown Creek Road, south of Bonners Ferry, when his 1990 Ford van left the road and hit an embankment, Idaho State Police reported.

Thornbrugh was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident occurred at 5:10 a.m. near where the road intersects with Paradise Valley Road, according to ISP.

Medical Lake

Roof failure closes school, cancels ball

Medical Lake High School will be closed to students and staff through Friday due to apparent damage to the school’s roof, district officials said Tuesday.

The extent or cause of the damage was not known.

A district spokeswoman said sporting events and after-school activities were canceled Tuesday. Away sporting events will continue as scheduled this week at other school sites.

The school’s Winter Ball, scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled, officials said.

From staff reports

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