Police investigating string of robberies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police investigating string of robberies

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Thursday, Spokane Police continued their search for an armed suspect who robbed Lindaman's restaurant on Spokane's South Hill at gunpoint late Wednesday night.

The search for the suspect in the Lindaman's robbery is just the latest in a string of robberies in that area.

The suspect in the Lindaman's robbery forced his way into the restaurant and ordered all employee's to the ground before making off with an unknown amount of money.

"I'm just glad everyone's ok," said restaurant owner Merrilee Lindaman.

Lindaman said in the 25 years her restaurant has been open, she never thought her store would be robbed at gunpoint.

Her employees who were forced to the ground to watch as an armed suspect demanded their money say the situation seemed almost surreal.

"You see it on TV or movies all the time," said bartender Kirk Haan. "When it happens to you, you have to think, is this is happening? Yes it is, this is really happening, it was strange."

Just across the street from Lindaman's is a Baskin-Robbins that was robbed last week and within 20 minutes of one another, a masked gunman robbed two coffee stands on Monday.

The businesses are unusual targets for robberies. Police say they're becoming targets because of the lack of security and they are crimes of opportunity, meaning crimes that are both difficult to anticipate and hard to stop.

"We do the best that we can, with resources," said Spokane Police Officer Devin Presta. "There's a lot of businesses and a lot of victims out here, we try to follow up, but funding is a part of the problem."

There are what police call COP shops, or community driven policing in the area, but police say they won't typically stay stationed there because they want to be out and available for a call.

Even with just one robbery in the area, police say they will up their patrols, but again, these crimes are difficult to anticipate and stop without any leads.

Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Check at 456-2233.

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