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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Meghann M. Cuniff

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News >  Spokane

Family searching for answers in dragging death

The father of the woman found dead Sunday after being dragged nearly a mile through north Spokane has a message for the driver, who’s still at large. “I have forgiven the person that did it,” said Gene Littell, sitting in his Spokane home Tuesday with his wife, Vicky. “If he was to walk through the door right now, so help me God I would give him a hug.”
News >  Spokane

OxyContin robbery suspect turns himself in

A man suspected of robbing a pharmacy of OxyContin last month turned himself in early this morning. Richard T. Ludvik, 23, is accused of robbing the Walgreens at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard on Jan. 21. Joshua G. Dixon, 26, was arrested that night and told police he'd driven Ludvik to and from the pharmacy in exchange for a couple of pills, according to court documents. Purdue Pharma LP, the company that makes the drug, had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Ludvik's capture. He turned himself in at the Spokane County Jail about 1 a.m. and faces two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Police think he may have also robbed the Walgreens at 15510 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley on Jan. 11, according to court papers. Also today, police announced the arrest of a third suspect in a string of robberies that had prompted extra security at payday loan centers and police patrols at pharmacies. Nathan Webb, 25, was arrested Monday evening and booked into Spokane County Jail on a felony charge of first-degree robbery. He's accused of driving the getaway car for suspected serial robber Zachary T. Allen, 19, in one of the robberies. Allen and his girlfriend, Kimberley A. Norman, 20, were arrested Friday evening.

News >  Spokane

OxyContin robberies will continue, police fear

The addictive pull of OxyContin may have led to a monthlong crime spree by a young couple arrested last week on suspicion of robbery, court papers show. And police think it may lead to the emergence of another serial robber. “If it’s not going to be available on the streets, somebody else, I fear, is going to have to take their place,” said Spokane police Sgt. Joe Peterson. “People are highly addicted to this stuff.”
News >  Spokane

Two arrested in serial robberies

Two people were arrested Friday evening in connection with a rash of robberies that prompted extra security measures at Spokane payday loan centers and pharmacies. Spokane police will release the suspects’ names after search warrants have been served, said Lt. Dave McGovern. The two were arrested about 6:30 p.m. and are believed to be responsible for at least seven robberies and one attempted robbery since January, including the payday loan center robberies and the OxyContin heist at ShopKo Tuesday night, McGovern said. The alleged crime spree began with robberies at the Northwest Food Mart at 5611 N. Driscoll on Jan. 8 and Jan. 11. The Check and Go, 6411 N. Division, was robbed Jan. 14, followed by robberies at Check into Cash at 555 E. Francis Avenue on Jan. 20 and Jan. 29, and a robbery and attempted robbery at Check into Cash at 920 N. Division Jan. 29 and on Tuesday. Tuesday’s attempted robbery occurred less than an hour before a major OxyContin robbery at the Shopko pharmacy, 9520 N. Newport Highway. In each loan center robbery and in the Shopko robbery, the suspect wore a black ski mask, light blue jeans and carried a handgun. McGovern couldn’t say whether the two arrested Friday each acted as the gunman. “We’re trying to figure that all out, too,” McGovern said. The rash of robberies led to extra pharmacy patrols by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Check into Cash stores also started locking their doors during business hours and asking for identification to enter the store.
News >  Spokane

OxyContin maker offers reward for robbery suspect

The company that makes OxyContin, Purdue Pharma LP, is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that helps capture suspected pharmacy robber Richard T. Ludvik. Ludvik, 23, is accused of robbing Walgreens at 2830 South Grand with a knife on Jan. 21. Joshua G. Dixon, 26, was arrested that night and told police he'd driven Ludvik to and from the store in exchange for a couple of OxyConin pills, according to court papers. Those papers show police think Ludvik also may be responsible for a robbery 10 days earlier at Walgreens at 15510 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley, but he's not considered a suspect in the serial payday loan robberies since Jan. 20 and the OxyContin robbery at Shopko in north Spokane this week. Two people were arrested for those crimes Friday evening. Also Friday, Spokane police released information on a fifth pharmacy robbery in January. A gunman wearing a black and white baseball cap robbed the Rite Aid at 810 E. 29th Avenue of OxyContin Jan. 24. Anyone with information on that robbery or the suspected serial robber is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS. Anyone with information on Ludvik’s whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online at crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org.
News >  Spokane

Photos of OxyContin robbery released

Spokane police have released surveillance photos from the OxyContin robbery at Shopko Tuesday evening. The photos show a masked man in light blue jeans and a black hooded jacket and armed with a gun, which matches the description of the suspect in four payday loan center robberies last month. Police suspect the same man is responsible for the five robberies as well as an attempted robbery at Check into Cash at 920 N. Division less than an hour before the OxyContin heist. The man tried to get into the business just before 6 p.m., but the store had just closed and the doors were locked, police said. The same Check into Cash was robbed Jan. 29, along with the store at 555 E. Francis Ave. That store was also targeted Jan. 20, six days after a robbery at Check and Go at 6411 N. Division. Police describe the suspect as a white male in his late teens to early 20s, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8 with a thin build.
News >  Spokane

Security beefed up at pharmacies, loan stores

A serial robber suspected of a major OxyContin heist this week in Spokane has prompted extra patrols at pharmacies and additional security measures at payday loan stores. Check into Cash stores in Spokane now stay locked during business hours and require customers to show identification before they can enter.

Serial robber strikes again, police say

Police suspect a serial robber may be responsible for an OxyContin heist less than an hour after an attempted robbery of a payday loan center Tuesday evening. Police suspect the same masked gunman robbed two Check into Cash stores three times last month.
News >  Spokane

Gang shooter given light sentence

Rae Walton, whose son was shot to death by gang members outside a late-night beer party in 2007, is having trouble understanding the judicial system in Spokane.
News >  Spokane

911 call released in stabbing of officer

A 911 call an off-duty Spokane police officer made Friday to report the stabbing of her fiance, a police sergeant, provides a first-person account of a chaotic confrontation outside the Steam Plant Grill downtown that continued through the frantic phone call.
News >  Spokane

Police look for serial loan store robber

A masked gunman robbed two Spokane payday loan centers Thursday, and police suspect the same man who targeted one of the same stores Jan. 20. A man with a handgun and wearing a black ski mask and dark clothing robbed Check into Cash at 555 E. Francis Ave. about 5:30 p.m., Thursday, four hours after he robbed Check into Cash at 923 N. Division St., according to police. The Francis Avenue store was also robbed by a gunman in a black ski last week. The suspect in the three robberies is described as in his 20s, white, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call (509) 242-TIPS.
News >  Spokane

Another Walgreens robbed at knife point

A man with a knife robbed the Walgreens at 29th Avenue and Grand Boulevard Wednesday night. The report came in just before 10 p.m. The suspect is described as a white man, about 5 foot 9 and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a camouflage bandanna across his face.

Three arrested in OxyContin heist

An initially successful pharmacy robbery quickly unraveled early Tuesday as police arrested two men and a 15-year-old boy within two hours of the crime.
News >  Spokane

Suspect named in Walgreens robbery

Fingerprints helped deputies identify a suspect in the knife-point robbery at Walgreens Tuesday evening in Millwood. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information that helps capture Michael Alan Miller, 24, of Coeur d'Alene. Surveillance footage showed where the robber had touched glass at the pharmacy, located at 2702 N. Argonne, and the fingerprints matched Miller's, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. Miller has a warrant charging him with felony first-degree robbery after deputies say he held a knife to a customer's throat and demanded OxyContin and methadone, according to a news release by Sgt. Dave Reagan. The robber fled westbound, and a K-9 team tracked him within a block of where Miller had been staying with a relative, according to the sheriff's office. Anyone with information on Miller's whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit the tip online at crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect the reward but should give a code name or number.
News >  Spokane

Armed robbery reported at Walgreens

A man robbed a Millwood pharmacy of OxyContin Wednesday after threatening a customer with a knife. An employee at Walgreens, 2702 N. Argonne Road, told police a man had held a knife to the chest of a customer - identified only as a local attorney - and demanded the prescription painkiller from employees about 5:30 p.m., to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect ran westbound from the building with an undisclosed amount of the drug. No one was injured, according to the sheriff’s office. The suspect is described as in his 20s, 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, heavyset and clean shaven, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black knit cap with a skull emblem on the front and dark shoes that could have white edging around the tops, according to a news release. This is the second armed pharmacy robbery this week, and Crime Stoppers is offering rewards for information that solves either. On Sunday, a man with a gun entered the store at 15510 E. Sprague Ave., demanded OxyContin and drove off with the pills in a white sport utility vehicle, witnesses told the sheriff’s office. That suspect is described as 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, in his 20s, with short brown hair and a mustache and wearing fuzzy gloves, a black scarf, a white hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. Anyone with information on those robberies or any others is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111, or submit tips online at crimestoppersinlandnorthwest.org. Tipsters do not have to give their name to collect the reward but should leave a code name or number.
News >  Spokane

Children found; Amber Alert canceled

Police have located the two Coeur d'Alene children who were picked up from school without their father's permission. The Amber Alert issued Friday evening has been canceled. Kymberly Michelle Beach, 35, and her two daughters were found at a gas station in Post Falls Friday night, according to the Coeur d'Alene Police Department. The girls were safe, and Beach was arrested, according to police.

Armed man robs north Spokane store

A young man armed with a handgun robbed a food store in northwest Spokane Thursday night, and Spokane police are asking for help identifying him.
News >  Idaho

CdA police looking for road rage suspect

A road rage incident Coeur d’Alene police say was triggered by a motorist changing lanes quickly to avoid a snow berm could land a man in jail on an aggravated assault charge.
News >  Spokane

Ice jams could cause flooding locally, NWS warns

Meteorologists are warning of ice jams and flooding in the region. Ice jams in Hangman Creek along Highway 195 near Spokane could cause flooding overnight before the region’s rivers recede Friday as experts predict, according to the National Weather Service. Over the last two days, Spokane lost at least half of its snowpack and the water content within it, the NWS said.