Local news

Bond set at $50,000 for suspect in holdups

Police say a woman who robbed a Tully’s coffee shop Thursday morning also is suspected in a hair salon holdup later that night.

Melissa D. Tschanz, 37, of Honolulu, is accused of robbing Tully’s at 2009 E. 29th Ave. and Great Clips at 30th Avenue and Grand Boulevard.

Superior County Judge Sam F. Cozza set her bond at $50,000 Friday. If she posts bond, she would still be required to stay in Spokane County.

Cozza kept her bond at that level because she has weak ties to the Spokane area. Though Tschanz has family in Idaho, Cozza noted her attempt to flee police and her mental health condition.

Salon employees, including a pregnant woman, told police the woman threatened them with a canister of Chemical Mace on Thursday night and took off with about $300 in cash. Nobody was hurt.

Following the salon robbery, police spotted Tschanz’s rental vehicle on the lower South Hill and pulled her over, but she fled and started a high-speed pursuit along Interstate 90.

Police pushed her vehicle into a guardrail near Spokane International Airport, where she was taken into custody on suspicion of second-degree robbery and attempting to elude police.

Melissa Tschanz’s husband, Jason Tschanz, who owns a tattoo shop in Honolulu, said she was visiting the region for a scheduled court date with a former business partner after their Coeur d’Alene business went bankrupt in 2009.

Jason Tschanz said his wife hasn’t worked in about six years because of a mental disability.

Tschanz’s mother appeared in court and offered to take her to Priest River until her next court date, but Cozza replied: “This is a serious matter, and I don’t want her leaving the county.”

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