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Fingerprints on Bellingham robbery note used to identify suspect

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police Department (BPD) officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at an E Holly Street retail business shortly after 6pm on September 3rd.

According to an affidavit of probable cause provided by BPD submitted in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, the suspect reportedly entered the store, purchased a pack of cigarettes and then asked for another pack. The clerk turned away from the suspect and then turned back to find the suspect hold a note that told him to place “all the money” in a bag the suspect was carrying. The suspect made a motion with his hand in the bag that the clerk interpreted as an indication of a weapon in the bag. The clerk handed the suspect cash from the register and the suspect left.

BPD officers were unable to locate the unknown suspect but were able to determine a general description from the business’ security video. It was noted that the suspect had not been wearing gloves and left the note behind.

The note was successfully processed for fingerprints and they were used to scan a fingerprint database. The top candidate from the scan matched the physical characteristics of the suspect seen in the security video.

As a result of the investigation, BPD arrested Mark Dillion Gargis, age 27, on October 7th. He was booked into the Whatcom County Jail and charged with suspicion of 2nd degree robbery.

As of October 10th, Gargis remained in custody pending being able to post a $40,000 bond or $4,000 cash.

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