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Police investigate robbery spree in Kootenai County

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 21, 2015

Police in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls are investigating three robberies and an attempted robbery this week that may be the work of the same masked man.

All four crimes happened within a 48-hour period and include some similar suspect descriptions, said Sgt. Christie Wood of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.

“We think they’re related,” Wood said. “We don’t have robberies like this on a routine basis.”

The first robbery happened Sunday at 9 p.m. at Frontier Grocery, 2707 W. Seltice Way, Post Falls. A man entered the store, demanded money from a cashier and quickly left with an undisclosed amount of money, headed north. There was no mention of a weapon.

The suspect was described as between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4 with a slender build and bright blue eyes. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and a white half-mask over his face.

A male matching the suspect described in the Post Falls robbery attempted to rob a Coeur d’Alene convenience store early the following morning. Coeur d’Alene officers responded to that report Monday at 5:14 a.m. at the Cenex Zip Trip at 1427 E. Best Ave.

A store clerk said he was working inside when he heard the door chime. He walked to the front counter from the back room and saw a male, with a hood up and wearing a mask, standing at the counter. The suspect demanded cash. The clerk said no and walked to the back room. No weapon was brandished, and the suspect left on foot headed north.

Zip Trip robbery, Oct. 2015 from The Spokesman-Review on Vimeo.

A second robbery was reported Monday at the Quality Inn at 280 W. Appleway Ave. Police were called around 10 p.m. and spoke with a clerk who told them she was working inside the hotel when a man entered, walked to the front desk and demanded cash.

The suspect held a knife to his side, the witness said. He left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect was described as white, about 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, blue or green eyes, and wearing a green winter coat with hood, light-colored scarf over his nose and mouth, black pants, and a large white glove on his left hand.

The third robbery was reported Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. at a liquor store at 1607 Northwest Blvd., Coeur d’Alene. Clerks told police a man wearing a hood and a scarf over his face demanded cash and left with an undisclosed amount. No weapon was seen, and the suspect fled on foot.

Clerks said he was white, about 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, wearing a light-colored camouflage coat with hood, a dark colored scarf over his nose and mouth, and light-colored pants.

A Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit attempted to track the suspect in both the hotel and liquor store robberies.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to contact the Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320 or email the tip line at policetips@cdaid.org. Or contact the Post Falls Police Department at (208) 773-3517.

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