March 27, 2013 in City

Poppy’s Tavern manager tied up in Spokane Valley robbery

From staff reports
 
Tom Sowa/The Spokesman-Review photo

Poppy’s Tavern in Spokane Valley
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Map of this story's location

An armed robber made off with an undisclosed amount of cash and two beers after tying up the manager at Poppy’s Tavern in Spokane Valley today.

The robber used zip ties to restrain a woman who managed the tavern, 415 S. Dishman-Mica Rd., according to Spokane Valley police. He was armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

According to the woman, whose identity wasn’t released, the gunman visited the tavern on Tuesday and drank a couple beers. He returned today and ordered beer, then brandished the handgun and demanded cash just before 11 a.m., according to Sgt. Dave Martin of Spokane Valley Police.

He then bound the woman’s hands in front of her body using zip ties and left through the tavern’s back door. He took two beers in a paper bag when he left, police say.

It took the manager about 10 minutes to get loose of the zip ties and call police.

Police tried tracking the suspect using a K-9 but were unsuccessful, leading them to believe he left in a car.

The woman described the suspect as 35 to 40 years old, with little or no facial hair, wearing a blue sweatshirt and blue jeans. He was wearing a “fishing style” hat, which matches the description of a man who robbed a Bank of Fairfield branch in Rockford last week. Police are pursuing the possibility that the two robberies are related.

Martin said the same woman was the victim of an assault and robbery in February 2011 outside the same tavern. Police then said an assailant approached her and put her in a chokehold as she prepared to open the door as she arrived at work.

She was punched in the face and suffered a bloody nose as he pushed her to the ground. The attacker stole her purse and ran off to a nearby mobile home park.

DNA on a hat and gloves dropped by the assailant led authorities to later arrest Isaiah P. Wandler, 32, and charge him with first-degree robbery. Wandler was sentenced to 53 months in prison.


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