Crime

Ferndale motel armed robbery suspects arrested

Images from security cameras show two robbery suspects on Jan. 14, 2016, at the Super 8 Motel in Ferndale.
Images from security cameras show two robbery suspects on Jan. 14, 2016, at the Super 8 Motel in Ferndale. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Two men were arrested this week and charged with an armed robbery at a Super 8 Motel in Ferndale.

Security footage captured two men using what appears to be a key card around 5 a.m. Jan. 14, to unlock a door on the north end of the motel at 5788 Barrett Road, according to charging papers.

The men walk to the door of room 205, where a man and his girlfriend were staying.

A sleeping man, 46, got up to answer the the door, saw a man outside, and assumed it was housekeeping, according to the charges. He cracked the door, and the men shoved him back into the room.

One suspect — shorter, wearing a Fox Racing hoodie and a red bandana — held a can of bear spray. The taller man wore a camouflage cap and a dark hoodie, and he had what looked like a gun wrapped in a towel, according to the charges.

“Give me all your money, give me all your stuff!” the shorter man yelled, according to charging papers. The intruders threatened to use the bear spray if the couple didn’t obey them, and at one point the short man told the tall man to “shoot these (expletives).”

A man smoking on a back staircase told police he witnessed two men rush past him. They had bandanas over their faces, and one of them appeared to be carrying a gun.

Another motel guest heard shouting and looked out his door. He reported seeing two men with bandanas hop into a black SUV.

The next day police recovered security footage from the motel. Still images from that footage were posted on the city of Ferndale’s website the following week, on Jan. 21, as police asked for the public’s help in identifying the robbers.

A pawn shop worker recognized the taller man as Joshua Olin Studer, 25, because he had worn the same clothes, and the exact hat, when he had come to his business in the past.

So police went to Studer’s home in the 6400 block of Portal Manor Drive on Jan. 21. He fled.

Officers learned that he had been hanging out with a man named Riley, later identified as Riley T. Casimir, 30. Casimir’s wife owns a black ’98 Ford Explorer.

Court records show Casimir is 5-foot-7. Studer is a couple of inches taller.

Formal charges were filed Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 10.

Police arrested Casimir the following morning at a home on the Lummi Reservation, and a few hours later Studer was arrested at his home on the outskirts of Ferndale. He jumped out a window when police showed up, but he surrendered moments later, said Ferndale Police Lt. Bill Hatchett.

Both men are felons.

Casimir molested a girl after his friend’s mom let him sleep on her couch in Snohomish County in 2007. He pleaded guilty to child molestation in the third degree, and he was sentenced to 13 months in prison. Before that he had been convicted of theft in the second degree and over a dozen misdemeanors.

Studer has been convicted of felony theft, for trying to shoplift hundreds of dollars in tools from Lowe’s in August 2014.

He has two other cases where he’s awaiting trial in Whatcom County Superior Court. In the first, he was accused of trying to shoplift about $64 in merchandise in December 2014 from a Haggen store he had been banned from. He posted $2,000 bond in that case.

In the second, he was charged last fall with trying to pawn a bike with a value of about $5,500. The bike, a Cervelo P3, had been listed stolen on a local Facebook page. Studer was arrested on a felony charge of possessing stolen property. He posted $10,000 bond in October.

Bail was set at $250,000 for both men in the motel robbery, according to jail records.

Charging papers do not specify a motive for the robbery, or why detectives think Studer and Casimir picked that room on that morning.

Caleb Hutton: 360-715-2276, @bhamcaleb

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