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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tips from public help police identify South Hill Cold Stone Creamery robber

Police arrested 52-year-old Dustin McElfish for an alleged robbery last month at Cold Stone Creamery on Spokane’s South Hill.  (Courtesy of Spokane Police Department)

Tips from the public helped police identify last month’s robber of the South Hill Cold Stone Creamery, according to the Spokane Police Department and court documents.

Police officers and the department’s Violent Crimes Task Force arrested 52-year-old Dustin McElfish May 15 on suspicion of first-degree armed robbery, a police news release said.

An employee of the ice cream store, 3011 E. 29th Ave., told police McElfish entered the store at about 9:30 p.m. April 19 in a dark jacket, dark pants and a hat, documents say.

McElfish approached the counter and demanded all the cash in the register, the employee said. McElfish put his right hand in his jacket pocket with his hand on a handle as though he was holding a pistol pointed at the victim.

The employee told police he was afraid for his life and gave McElfish about $180 in cash from the till. He said McElfish took more cash from the tip jar on the counter before fleeing the store, documents say.

McElfish’s acquaintances and a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy who had arrested McElfish Feb. 6 for a different incident identified him as the robber from photos distributed on the news and social media, court records show. Employees of the ice cream shop then identified McElfish as the alleged robber from a photo lineup provided by police.

McElfish has a lengthy criminal history with prior felony convictions for first-degree possession of stolen property and first-degree trafficking of stolen property, the release said.

He made his first appearance May 16 in Spokane County Superior Court and is scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday. McElfish remained in the Spokane County Jail Wednesday night on a $50,000 bond.