A 40-year-old man accused of a string of motel robberies in Oregon and Washington, including the January robbery of the Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, has been booked into Multnomah County Jail.
Portland police said Sunday that Ernest Lee Dean is accused of a string of Oregon robberies in Gresham, Hood River, Cannon Beach, Albany, Newport and one in Woodland, Wash. Dean is set to be arraigned Monday in Multnomah County on robbery charges.
The investigation began last September, when the Silver Cloud Inn in Portland was robbed. Another motel robbery happened the next day in Wilsonville. Police say the robbery suspect wielded a handgun and said he had a bomb. On January 5, 2014 the Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect robbed the night auditor, receiving an undisclosed amount of cash and left the area.
According to a news release fom the Cannon Beach Police deaprtment, Officer Devon Edwards, who was conducting security checks in the area of the Stephanie Inn at the time of the robbery, observed a black vehicle leaving the area. She was not able to catch up with the vehicle but was able to determine that the car was a sedan bearing a California license plate starting with "6".
Other agencies in Clatsop County began to assist with the investigation immediately, including Det. Sgt. Barnett of the Seaside Police Department who offered resources resulting in successful evidence collection. Cannon Beach officers were able to follow up on these leads and found some valuable evidence.
Lt. Wilbur spent numerous hours working with the Clatsop County District Attorney's office on obtaining subpeonas for rental car agencies as well as ATM machines. He was able to identify a lead suspect, Mr. Dean, and continued to build evidence while working closely with Portland Robbery Detective Brett Hawkinson, the FBI and other agencies investigating similar robberies.
Dean was arrested in North Portland on Friday.
Portland police investigated with several agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and police in Cannon Beach, Newport, Albany, Hood River, Gresham and Lake Oswego.