Robbery spree linked to one man

During a twenty-three-day span in January and February 2019, twelve robberies and attempted robberies were committed within the city limits and Bellingham Police have determined James M. Dean, 26, of Bellingham, is responsible for all twelve robberies.
Dean was arrested with two accomplices Angelica E. Willard, 26, and Cecelia C. Morris, 28, on February 7, 2019, for Robbery 1st Degree and Theft 1st Degree for robbing 2020 Solutions at knifepoint.  Dean made off with over $5,550.00 in cash from the business and fled the scene with Willard and Morris in the get-away car.  Night shift officers located Willard and Morris in the get-away car later in the night and developed further information to assist in finding Dean and taking him into custody. 
Detectives conducting the investigation were able to determine many similarities across all the robberies committed, leading them to the conclusion Dean was the suspect in all 12 cases.  The following is a summary of the robberies committed by Dean in 2019:
January 16, 2019 at 2:25am, robbery at the Baymont Inn.  Dean entered the lobby wearing a dark colored jacket and gray sweatshirt underneath.  He had his face covered wielded a knife.  He demanded money and fled on foot with #349.50 in cash.  
January 18, 2019 at 2:07am, robbery attempt at the Baymont Inn.  Same suspect as on 1-16-19 tried to enter, but doors were locked.  Dean was wearing same clothing as on the first robbery.  He fled without any money.
January 19, 2019 at 1106pm, robbery at the Rodeway Inn.  Dean, wearing similar clothing as in the previous robberies and wielding a knife.  Dean entered the lobby demanding money.  The clerk refused to give money, Dean left with nothing.
January 20, 2019 at 2:33pm robbery at the Baymont Inn.  Dean entered the lobby wielding a knife, wearing the same clothing as during the Rodeway Inn robbery.  Dean fled on foot with $300.00 in cash.
January 25, 2019 at 1:52am, robbery at the Best Western Heritage Inn.  Dean entered the lobby wearing similar clothing as had been reported before.  While the clerk called 9-1-1 from a back office, Dean stole the cash drawer and made off with $320.00 in cash.
January 26, 2019 at 7:52pm, robbery attempt at the Baymont Inn.  Dean, dressed the same, wielding a knife entered the lobby and demanded money.  Staff refused to give the money and Dean left with nothing.
January 29, 2019 at 10:59pm, robbery attempt at the Quality Inn Baron Suites.  Dean, dressed in similar clothing, wielding a knife entered the lobby.  The clerk refused to give any money and Dean left with nothing.
January 30, 2019 at 6:30pm, robbery at Dancing Gypsies.  Dean, dressed in similar clothing and wielding a knife, entered the store and demanded money.  Dean fled on foot with $211.00 in cash.
January 31, 2019 at 6:18pm, robbery at North Point CBD.  Dean entered the store, wielding a knife, demanding money.  Dean fled on foot with $872.00 in cash.
February 3, 2019 at 5:13pm, robbery at 2020 Solutions.  Dean, wearing similar clothing and wielding a knife entered the store demanding money.  Dean fled on foot with $2,918 in cash. 
February 7, 2019 at 12:30am, robbery at Days Inn.  Dean, wearing similar clothing, entered the lobby, jumping on the counter and demanding money.  Clerk indicated 9-1-1 had been called and Dean fled on foot with no money.
February 7, 2019 at 9:29pm, robbery at 2020 Solutions.  Dean, wearing similar clothing and wielding a knife, entered the store demanding money.  Dean fled on foot and by car with over $5,550.00.  Dean, Willard and Morris were arrested for this robbery after being found by patrol officers.
Dean, Willard and Morris were arrested and charged with the robbery and theft from the February 7th case at 2020 Solutions.  Detectives have provided probable cause to the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office for the other 11 robberies, so charges can be filed.  In addition to the robbery charges coming, Dean was arrested on February 17, 2019 for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender.  He was served the with probable cause for that charge while in the Whatcom County Jail, where he is currently incarcerated pending trial.
As previously indicated by Chief Doll, this investigation was a collaboration of efforts beginning with information received from the public, our dedicated night shift patrol crew catching Dean and the detectives who put the evidence together to develop probable cause for the other 11 robbery cases.  “A true example of community policing and offender accountability,” said Chief Doll.





Media Contacts

​​Claudia Murphy, PIO

Bellingham Police Department

(360) 778-8834

cmurphy@cob.org