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Bellingham store employee threatened with weapon during robbery

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police were dispatched to a reported theft at a retail store on January 30th, arrived to learn store staff had been threatened with a weapon when attempting to stop a subject who was leaving the store with unpaid products.

According to an affidavit prepared by Bellingham Police and filed in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, a responding officer interviewed witnesses and store staff. It was learned a male was confronted by a store employee who advised him to pay for the items in his shopping cart before leaving. In response, the male pulled out a taser weapon and pointed it at the employee’s face while saying something similar to “You can’t touch me” and warning he would be “tased.” The employee said the weapon could be heard making an electrical arching noise. The male also reported to have a 6-inch knife.

The male left the store with the cart and attempted to load the items into an awaiting car. According to the affidavit, he was gave up trying to load the items into the car due to having drawn the attention of multiple witnesses. He left as a passenger in the car.

Police were provided detailed descriptions of the male and the vehicle.

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An officer located the vehicle “a short time later” and stopped it. A male in the backseat matched the suspect’s description. The vehicle’s registered owner consented to a search which located a taser weapon and a knife.

The male in the vehicle was identified as the robbery suspect by a photo and also by the store employee.

The suspect, identified as Robert Levi Dennis, III, age 38, was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail charged with 1st degree robbery. As of February 4th, he remained in custody pending being able to post a $20,000 bond or $2,000 cash.

Dennis has prior theft and robbery felony convictions.

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