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It was supposed to be a case of shoplifting, but police say a gun was used

McClatchy

Bellingham Police are following leads in the wake of an armed robbery Saturday night at Bellis Fair mall, authorities said Monday.

Lt. Danette Beckey said the incident started as a man and a woman were seen shoplifting several items of clothing about 5:20 p.m. in the Macy’s department store.

As they made their getaway, the man drew a handgun to threaten employees, Beckley said.

“The male was seen grabbing several items of clothing, by-passing the cashiers and headed to the exit,” Beckley said. “The male suspect pulled out a handgun and pointed it at (store security personnel) before continuing on his way out the store with the female.”

Beckley said a second Macy’s employee confronted the couple in the parking lot, the man again brandished his handgun.

She said the vehicle was described as possibly an Audi station wagon and it was last seen headed toward Telegraph Road.

Photos of the pair taken from store security video were posted Sunday on BPD’s Facebook page, but removed Monday after a flood of tips were received, Beckley said.

Use of a deadly weapon elevated a misdemeanor theft charge to first-degree robbery and pointing the weapon is first-degree assault, both felonies, Beckley said. She said both suspects could face the same charges.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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