Police: Robber spends more than he gets in Bellingham gas station hold-up

A gas station robber paid for a Reese’s peanut butter cup but then left without getting the store’s money before being arrested minutes later in a nearby parking lot, according to police.

Brandon Lee Riley, 30, bought a Reese’s peanut butter cup at the Shell gas station on the corner of Sunset Drive and Orleans Street around 11 a.m. Monday, March 2. He then handed the cashier a note that said he had a gun but left before the cashier gave him any money, Sgt. Carr Lanham said.

Riley walked out of the gas station to his car, a Honda Accord, which was parked outside of a nail salon next door. A person watching took down his license plate and called 911.

An officer followed the car and pulled Riley over in the Haggen grocery store parking lot on Woburn Street, a few blocks from the gas station. The officer detained him at gunpoint and took him into custody on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

Riley did not have a gun when he was arrested. The note used in the robbery was resting on the passenger seat of his car, Lanham said.

Riley’s home address is on the 3200 block of Racine Street, just one block from the gas station he allegedly robbed, Lanham said.

Police have had little contact with Riley other than a welfare check in August 2014, Lanham said.

An employee at the Shell gas station declined to comment on the robbery Monday.