Bellingham man arrested in connection with robbery, van theft

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 29, 2013 

A Bellingham man was arrested after allegedly robbing a man and stealing his van early Saturday, July 27, in the Paradise area off Mount Baker Highway, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies got called at about 2:15 a.m. to the 7900 block of Oregon Trail, where a man and woman reported that two men had approached the van they were in, jumped in the back seat and pulled guns on them, Undersheriff Jeff Parks said.

The robbers allegedly told the man to drive, putting a gun to his side. He refused, and there was a fight over the keys. The man made it out of the van, but the other two then robbed him of his cash, a cellphone, a knife and a flashlight, Parks said.

The woman was able to get out of the van during the scuffle. Deputies found the van at about 11 a.m. at the wooded dead end of Chestnut Drive nearby.

The man didn't know the robbers, but the woman said she did. Saturday night, a deputy saw Luis Enrique Fernandez was the passenger in a car on Mount Baker Highway and pulled the car over, arresting Fernandez in connection with the robbery.

Fernandez, 23, has ties to the Brown Pride Surenos gang, Parks said. He has an extensive criminal history, including guilty pleas for second-degree robbery, forgery and unlawful possession of a firearm, as well as pending drug- and weapon-possession charges, according to court documents.

He was booked into Whatcom County Jail for investigation of first-degree robbery and theft of a motor vehicle, as well as a Department of Corrections warrant.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com. Read the Dispatcher Blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or follow us on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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