July 30, 2009 in City

Three men suspected of serial robberies

By The Spokesman-Review
 

It didn’t take police long to connect the witness to the suspect: they live in the same apartment.

That connection may have helped police solve a series of pizza place holdups over the past two weeks that Spokane detectives think culminated with a robbery at a payday loan center Monday.

Daniel I. Neace, 19, Nathan J. Molina, 21, and Michael J. Anderson, 20, are each in Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree robbery after a police dog tracking an armed robbery suspect from Check Into Cash, 555 E. Francis, found Neace a few blocks from the business.

Detectives soon connected the three men to three other robberies in which the culprits used hooded sweatshirts, scarves and hats to hide their faces.

A Check Into Cash employee said the robbery suspect wore a fake beard. Police found Neace with glue, then seized a fake beard, business floor plans, Pizza Pipeline deposit bags and shotgun shells at the Lincoln Street apartment he shares with Anderson, according to the search warrant.

Anderson was cashing a check at the time of the robbery, and gave police a witness statement, police said.

Now police are looking at the three as suspects in an alleged crime spree that began July 11 when two men robbed Domino’s Pizza, 726 W. 3rd Ave., and continued July 15 with three men robbing the Domino’s at 2901 N. Argonne Road in Spokane Valley. Four days later, two men robbed Pizza Pipeline at 1724 W. Wellesley Ave.

In each of the incidents, witnesses said one of the men displayed a handgun or sawed-off shotgun.

After Monday’s robbery, police said they found Neace with a .380 handgun.

Several blocks away, police found Molina sitting in a parked car registered to Neace’s father. Molina and Neace had portable talk radios tuned to the same channel, according to police.

After his arrest, “Neace stated that he was behind in payments on his car that his father had co-signed for,” according to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Detective Marty Hill.


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