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In brief: Masked man robs CdA coffee stand

Thu., Jan. 31, 2013

An armed man wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants mask robbed a Coeur d’Alene coffee stand Wednesday night, escaping with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

No injuries were reported in the 5:54 p.m. holdup at Lean Bean Espresso, 1207 Sherman Ave., according to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. The man with the gun ordered two employees of the coffee stand to hand over cash and fled north on foot along 13th Street.

The robber is described as 5-foot-8 with a medium build and weighing about 180 pounds. In addition to the cartoon character mask, the robber wore a black hoodie pulled over his head and dark baggy jeans, police said.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Coeur d’Alene police at (208) 769-2320.

Police capture escaped inmate

Geiger escapee Michael S. Wheeler is back in custody after being captured Wednesday night by Spokane police as he tried to flee across Hangman Creek.

Police said they were conducting follow-up interviews with people Wheeler may have been in contact with when they spotted him leaving a house near the 1200 block of South Chestnut. He fled and tried to lose officers, on foot, by dashing through some bushes and into the chilly river. He was unable to climb the steep bank on the other side, and he surrendered after officers called out to him.

He was taken to a hospital to be checked for hypothermia and was to be transported to Spokane County Jail after that, police said.

Wheeler had been missing from the Geiger Correctional Facility since Sunday. He was in custody on charges of attempting to elude, possession of a stolen vehicle, assault of a health services provider, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, residential burglary and theft.

CdA police arrest burglary suspect

Coeur d’Alene police have arrested Jesse Daniel Upchurch, 22, on two counts of burglary after a break-in Monday at TKS Painting, 183 W. Haycraft Ave.

Police said employees opened the store for business at 7 a.m. Monday when they discovered a door that had been kicked in and the business office ransacked. The owner discovered his laptop computer, an undisclosed amount of cash and several guns had been taken.

Evidence collected at the scene led police to an address in Coeur d’Alene and Upchurch. The firearms were recovered later in a Dumpster after police received an anonymous tip advising officers where they’d find the weapons.

Small quake felt in Portland area

PORTLAND – A small earthquake in Southwest Washington shook parts of metropolitan Portland on Wednesday.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.7-magnitude quake struck just after 5 p.m. and was centered near Amboy, Wash., about 20 miles north of Vancouver. No damage was reported.

An hour after the quake, more than 900 people had told the USGS that they felt it.

Krissy Barber, of Gresham, Ore., told KATU-TV that it felt like everyone in her apartment building slammed their doors in unison, and the couch continued to shake for several seconds. A Vancouver couple said the quake was “very forceful,” and some things on the counter were shaken and turned around.


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