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Three men questioned in string of armed robberies

Nedzad Mesanovic  (Crime Stoppers)
Nedzad Mesanovic (Crime Stoppers)

Man wearing bandana pointed gun at Zip Trip clerk, authorities say

Three men arrested for an armed robbery Wednesday night are being questioned about a string of robberies in Spokane County in the last month.

Nedzad Mesanovic, 20, of Spokane; Miroslav Veselinovic, 22, of Spokane; and Reza Abghari, 26, of Colbert, were driving a dark Ford Taurus that a Spokane police officer recognized from a robbery report at the Zip Trip, 711 W. Hastings, at 11:15 p.m., according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

In light of a recent string of robberies one after another, the officer began watching a convenience store at Francis Avenue and Elgin Street, where he spotted Taurus parked behind a fence nearby.

The men sped away in the car, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but were stopped by several patrol officers who found cigars stolen in the robbery and “a realistic-looking pellet gun” though to have been used in the hold up.

Deputies brought the Zip Trip clerk to the traffic stop, where the clerk “identified Abgahri as the gunman and Mesanovic as the getaway driver,” according to the news release. A woman in the car at the time of the robbery was interviewed and released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Abghari was convicted of third-degree assault and a weapons charge and was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison in 2005 for shooting his 13-year-old girlfriend between the eyes “while pretending to be a gangster,” according to previously published reports.

The three men remain in Spokane County Jail after appearing in Superior Court today via video.

Though they are being investigated for other robberies, they are not thought to be connected to a Sept. 29 hold up at Papa John’s at 920 W. Indiana.

Police on Thursday identified the suspect in that robbery as Justin J. Ellery, 24. Anyone with information on Ellery’s location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111.

Read more on the accused armed robbers at the Sirens and Gavels blog