Saturday, October 19, 2013
A man wearing a ski mask tied up the clerk and made off with cash from the till at a West Cascade hotel in the early morning hours on Oct. 11.
The 3 a.m. robbery is being investigated by Hood River Police. According to Chief Neal Holste, the suspect entered the lobby of Comfort Suites, and demanded cash from the lone employee on duty. No one else was present.
The suspect brandished a handgun and what appeared to be a bomb, according to Holste.
The employee said the man held what looked like two aluminum cans taped together.
The employee gave a “small amount” of cash to the suspect, who then zip-tied the employee’s hands behind his back and told him not to call police for at least 10 minutes after he left or the bomb would go off.
The suspect was described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall and slender but “strong-looking build.” The employee believes him to be a white male of undetermined age. The suspect was wearing a black ski mask with triangle eye holes, and a dark sweat suit. He placed the money in a duffel bag. The employee did not see how or in what direction the suspect left the hotel grounds.
After 10 minutes, the employee called 9-1-1, and police responded within two minutes, Holste said. They checked the lobby and the area and found no bomb or other physical evidence.
“Right now we have no leads, and no information to go on besides what the employee told us,” Holste said.
Holste said Det. Mike Martin is talking with police in Gresham, Portland and Vancouver about recent similar robberies at hotels and motels in those cities, to determine any connection.
The hotel has a video surveillance but no recordings, and a look at neighboring businesses’ video systems provided no further evidence, according to Holste.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge