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  • 21 Aug 2014

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Serial armed robbery suspect arrested

by: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Ernest DeanA man suspected of a series of armed robberies in Oregon and Washington was arrested in Portland on Friday.

Earnest Lee Dean, 40, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of Robbery in the First Degree and Robbery in the Second Degree and will be arraigned on Monday. Additional charges from numerous jurisdictions are expected.

Dean was arrested on Feb. 21 by the Portland Police Bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) after a high-risk traffic stop at the intersection of North Lombard Street and North Delaware Avenue.

Portland police robbery detectives served several search warrants throughout the day which resulted in the discovery of evidence linked directly to a string of robberies throughout Oregon and Washington. They were assisted by the Cannon Beach Police Department, Newport Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The investigation began on September 5, 2013, when the Silver Cloud Inn, located at 2426 Northwest Vaughn in Portland, was robbed at gunpoint by a masked subject wielding a handgun and purporting to have a bomb. The suspect bound the hotel employees and a delivery person by the hands and stole money from the hotel.

The next day, a similarly described subject robbed the La Quinta at 8815 Southwest Sun Place in Wilsonville. The suspect was wielding a handgun and purporting to have a bomb. The suspect bound the hotel employees, and stolen an undisclosed sum of money.

Portland robbery detectives consulted with investigators with Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, and a joint investigation ensued.

According to police, the robbery pattern continued sporadically, where the suspect would wield a handgun and purport to have an explosive device, bind the hotel employees by the hands, and steal money from the hotel.

The additional robberies occurred in Gresham, Hood River, Cannon Beach, Albany and Newport, Oregon, and one in Woodland, Washington.

The Cannon Beach Police Department was able to develop information, which led to a person of interest. Additional investigative follow up by Portland Police Robbery Detectives and the Cannon Beach Police Department resulted in the identification of Ernest Dean as the suspect. Additional investigation also implicated Dean in a bank robbery in Lake Oswego.

This investigation was a collaborative effort between the Portland Police Bureau, the Cannon Beach Police Department, the Newport Police Department, the Albany Police Department, the Hood River Police Department, the Gresham Police Department, the Lake Oswego Police Department, and the FBI.

If anyone has additional information about Dean or the robberies, they are encouraged to contact the investigators listed below:

Portland - Detectives John Russell (503) 823-0836 or Brett Hawkinson (503) 823-1080.

Gresham - Detective Tony Cobb (503) 618-2318.

Wilsonville - Detective Jeff Green (503) 682-1276 .

Woodland (WA) - Officers Brent Murray or Dustin Palmquist (360) 225-6965.

Hood River - Mike Martin (503) 541-387-5256.

Cannon Beach - Lt Chris Wilbur (503) 436-2811.

Albany - Sgt Steve Dorn (541) 917-7680 .

Newport - Detective Mitch France (541) 574-3367 .

Lake Oswego - Detective Jonithan Funkhouser (503) 635-0250.