Three arrested in Zip Trip robbery - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Three arrested in Zip Trip robbery

SPOKANE, Wash. - Three people have been arrested in Wednesday night's Zip Trip robbery in the 700 block of W. Hastings.

The incident began about 11:15 p.m. when two men wearing masks over their lower faces robbed the Zip Trip at 711 W. Hastings of cash and cigars. 

The clerk told deputies he had been outside five minutes before the robbery and saw a dark-colored Ford Taurus drive through the lot with two men inside who had their faces covered.

When he went back inside, the two suspects entered and one pulled out a pistol demanding he open the till.  When he did, the suspect reached in and grabbed cash. The suspects ran out of the store and he called 911.

Hearing the report of the robbery broadcast over city channels, Senior Police Officer Jim Stewart decided to watch another convenience store because there had been recent multiple robberies of businesses one after the other.

He went to a business at Francis and Elgin and began surveillance.  Shortly afterward, he noted a dark Ford Taurus parked behind a fence about a half-block north of the store.

When the occupants noticed Officer Stewart, they sped off northbound toward the Five Mile neighborhood.  The officer caught up and stopped the car with the assistance of several other SPD patrol units.

The driver was identified as 20-year-old Nedzad Mesanovic, living in the 1000 block of East Cozza.  Two male passengers were identified as 22-year-old Miroslav Veselinovic, 1000 E. Sharpsburg, and Reza Abghari, 26, of Colbert.

During the identification process, a pistol was seen tucked beneath a floor mat on the Taurus.  After reviewing security video of the robbery, Deputy Rob Satake had Sgt. Ken Salas take the clerk to the scene of SPD's suspicious vehicle stop.

The clerk identified Abghari as the gunman and Mesanovic as the getaway driver.  Officers later saw clothing inside the car that had been worn during the robbery and removed as officers closed in.

Also visible in the car was a package of stolen Swisher Sweet cigars.

All three of the males were driven to the Spokane County Jail where Satake booked them for First-Degree Armed Robbery.  A female in the car at the time of the robbery was interviewed and released.

The Taurus was seized as evidence and towed to the sheriff's garage for execution of a search warrant Thursday.  The gun used in the robbery turned out to be a realistic-looking pellet gun.  It was placed on police property as evidence.

While the three were only charged with Wednesday night's robbery, investigators are exploring the possibility that they may have been involved in other recent commercial robberies as well.

- Spokane County Sheriff's Office

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