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Two arrested in serial robberies

Two people were arrested Friday evening in connection with a rash of robberies that prompted extra security measures at Spokane payday loan centers and pharmacies.

Spokane police will release the suspects’ names after search warrants have been served, said Lt. Dave McGovern.

The two were arrested about 6:30 p.m. and are believed to be responsible for at least seven robberies and one attempted robbery since January, including the payday loan center robberies and the OxyContin heist at ShopKo Tuesday night, McGovern said.

The alleged crime spree began with robberies at the Northwest Food Mart at 5611 N. Driscoll on Jan. 8 and Jan. 11.

The Check and Go, 6411 N. Division, was robbed Jan. 14, followed by robberies at Check into Cash at 555 E. Francis Avenue on Jan. 20 and Jan. 29, and a robbery and attempted robbery at Check into Cash at 920 N. Division Jan. 29 and on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s attempted robbery occurred less than an hour before a major OxyContin robbery at the Shopko pharmacy, 9520 N. Newport Highway.

In each loan center robbery and in the Shopko robbery, the suspect wore a black ski mask, light blue jeans and carried a handgun.

McGovern couldn’t say whether the two arrested Friday each acted as the gunman.

“We’re trying to figure that all out, too,” McGovern said.

The rash of robberies led to extra pharmacy patrols by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Check into Cash stores also started locking their doors during business hours and asking for identification to enter the store.