A suspected armed robber, accused of holding up a number of businesses throughout northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, including Newport, has been arrested in Portland.
On Friday, February 21st, the Portland Police arrested 40-year-old Ernest Lee Dean after a high-risk traffic stop at the intersection of North Lombard Street and North Delaware Avenue. Robbery Division Detectives, with direct assistance from the Cannon Beach Police, Newport Police, and the FBI 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.
Dean 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.
This investigation began on last September 5th when the Silver Cloud Inn, located 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 Inn in Wilsonville. The suspect was wielding a handgun and claimed to have a bomb. The suspect bound the hotel employees, and stolen an undisclosed sum of money.
Portland Police Robbery Detectives consulted with investigators with Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, and a joint investigation ensued.
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.
Additional robberies occurred in Gresham, Hood River, Cannon Beach, Albany and Newport, Oregon, and one other in Woodland, Washington.
The Cannon Beach Police Department was able to develop information, which led to a person of interest. Additional 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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