BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A Bellingham woman already suspected of theft of $800, theft of a car and armed robbery was not able to get away from another attempt at armed robbery.
According to affidavits of probable cause prepared by Bellingham Police and filed in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, late in August, officers interviewed a victim who reported a man and woman did some yardwork for him for $20. He took them to an ATM and gave them his bank card to withdraw $20 from his account. The following day he discovered they had withdrawn $820.
Security video from the store where the ATM was located showed the man and woman at the ATM. A friend of the victim told police the names of the suspects and the images on the video matched their department of licensing photos.
In early September, another man told police he had let a woman into his apartment for about an hour and after she had left he noticed his keys and car were missing. Police were provided her description and first name which matched a woman suspected of stealing vehicles. The victim identified her in a photo montage as the same suspect in the previous theft.
Later, police responded to a responded to a report of an armed robbery on at a convenience store on Douglas Avenue in south Bellingham about 10:20am on September 17th. A clerk told police a woman had the store and rushed the clerk while pointing a gun and demanding the clerk open the register. The clerk complied and the woman took cash out of the register. She then took the clerk ‘s purse and left the store. Security video showed the crime, a male accomplice that waited outside and the suspect leaving in a silver Nissan Xterra.
At about 3am on September 21st, Bellingham Police were dispatched to a report of an armed robbery at a convenience store on Northwest Avenue. A clerk behind the counter told police a woman wearing a facemask had walked behind the counter, pointed a black handgun and demanded cash from the register. Instead on complying, the clerk wrestled the gun away and it slid away across the floor. At this point, the woman and a male accomplice rushed the clerk. The woman then punched the clerk.
At this point, the clerk said he pulled his own handgun and told the 2 to “get back.” The woman said they were leaving and then walked to her gun on the floor. The clerk fired his handgun and struck the woman. The woman was later located by police collapsed across the street with a single gunshot injury to her upper buttocks/hip. She was transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center.
Police said the woman told them she had tried to rob the store and the clerk had shot her, which was confirmed by the store’s security video.
The woman suspected in all these crimes was identified as Grace Francis Cooper, age 24. As of October 6th, she remained in custody at Whatcom County Jail pending being able to post a $100,000 bond.
Cooper currently faces 2 felony charges of armed robbery and felony 2nd degree theft in 1 case in Whatcom County Superior Court. In other Superior Court cases opened this year, she faces additional felony charges of theft of a motor vehicle, 2nd degree theft, retail theft.
In 2018, Cooper pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, a felony, and sentenced to 45 days in custody plus a $500 fine. At the time of sentencing, she had 4 prior felony convictions including criminal impersonation, possession of a stolen vehicle and 3rd degree assault.