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Kootenai County hit by string of armed robberies

Coeur d’Alene police are looking for two men they say robbed a convenience store at gunpoint early Monday, the latest in a string of armed robberies in Kootenai County over the past 10 days.

The two men entered the Piggie’s Deli and Gas Market at 2001 E. Sherman Ave. just after 5 a.m. Monday, according to a news release from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. They pointed handguns at a cashier and took off with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police continue to search for the suspects, described as two men about 5 foot 7 inches to 5 foot 8 inches tall, clothed in gray hooded sweatshirts with red bandanas covering their faces.

Monday’s robbery was the fourth reported in the county since Oct. 26, said Coeur d’Alene police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood. According to previous news reports, the following businesses have reported robberies:

• Oct. 26: The Alpine Country Store along U.S. Highway 95 reported that a white man in his mid- to late-20s walked in armed with a gun around 5 a.m., took cash from the register and then fled the store on foot, crossing the highway headed southwest.

• Oct. 28: A man walked up to the drive-thru window at the Dutch Bros. Coffee store at 1680 Northwest Blvd., showed a cashier what he claimed was a gun beneath a plastic Dollar Tree shopping bag and demanded cash. The suspect, described by Coeur d’Alene police as possibly having a dark complexion and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and red ski mask, was pursued by a police dog but got away.

• Oct. 29: The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said a man entered a KFC restaurant in Hayden armed with a gun, demanded money and left on foot. The suspect, described as white, about 6 feet tall and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, entered the store at 279 W. Orchard Ave. just before 9 p.m.

The robberies represent an unusual spike in crime in the city and county, Wood said. Police do not think the crimes are related.

Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to contact either the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320 or the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 446-1300.