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Armed robber strikes GF hotel

Police said a man displaying a handgun and wearing a red ski mask robbed the front desk of the Fairfield Inn in Grand Forks shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Fairfield Inn
A cop car parked in front of the Fairfield Inn at 6:58 p.m. Wed. Dec. 8, 2009. Herald photo by John Stennes.

Police said a man displaying a handgun and wearing a red ski mask robbed the front desk of the Fairfield Inn in Grand Forks shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

"Officers responded; we set up a perimeter. Detectives were still on duty; they came out right away," Sgt. Bill Wyatt said.

Witnesses reported seeing the suspect run north from the front entrance of the hotel at 3051 S. 34th St., but police don't know if he got into a vehicle or continued on foot, Wyatt said.

"We had the dog on scene. We did a short track. We lost the track so, you know, we can make a couple assumptions from there but we're still investigating and right now we're searching the area," Wyatt said about 6 p.m.

With yellow tape blocking the front entrance, detectives processed the hotel lobby. Meanwhile, patrol officers canvassed the surrounding area for the suspect to no avail Wednesday night.

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Police said no one was injured in the incident and that the suspect got away with a yet-to-be-determined amount of cash.

A hotel clerk told police the man had a small-caliber handgun, detective Mike Iwan said.

The suspect was described as a tan white man, possibly Hispanic or American Indian, in his 20s. He had a slim build, and his height was estimated at 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 1 inch. He was wearing a black, hooded, zip-up sweatshirt with a realistic human skull taking up the front and possibly dark brown cargo pants.

The Grand Forks Police Department asks that anyone with information about the robbery call (701) 787-8000.

Ingersoll reports on crime and courts. Reach him at (701) 780-1269; (800) 477-6572, ext. 269; or send e-mail to aingersoll@gfherald.com .

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