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Vancouver man accused of robbing two cellphone stores

Clark County sheriff’s deputies connected a Vancouver man who allegedly robbed a cellphone store Oct. 17 to a similar robbery several days earlier, court records say.

Bilal Joiner, 29, faces allegations of first-degree robbery and assault and unlawful possession of a firearm, stemming from the armed robbery of a Sprint store at 6713 N.E. 63rd St. When the new case was filed, Joiner was already in custody at the Clark County Jail for allegedly robbing a T-Mobile store.

According to a probable cause affidavit, deputies responded to the Sprint store for a robbery on the evening of Oct. 14. A masked man entered the store prior to closing, carrying a pistol and blue bag. He demanded money and phones.

The man was wearing a black beanie, with two holes cut out for his eyes, pulled down over his face. He pointed his pistol at two employees and fled from the store after they handed over Apple iPhones, watches and a set of Airpods. The stolen items have an estimated value of more than $3,000, according to the affidavit.

Deputies searched for the suspect at the time but could not find him.

Vancouver police detectives provided the sheriff’s office with information linking the Sprint store robbery to a similar robbery, court records say.

Police responded around 7:50 p.m. Oct. 17 for a reported robbery at 3205 S.E. 192nd Ave., a T-Mobile outlet store on the edge of the Fisher’s Landing East neighborhood.

Officers interviewed witnesses and obtained video surveillance footage that showed an armed, masked man had entered the store. He threatened employees with a handgun and directed them into a back room, where a storage safe was opened, police said.

The robber stole several Apple iPhones and watches, then fled south.

According to the probable cause affidavit in that case, Joiner ran off with a duffle bag full of $5,760 worth of electronics. The employee who filled the bag also included an iPhone X package with a tracking device.

Police tracked the device to a neighborhood southwest of the T-Mobile store, pulled over a Honda Odyssey van driven by Joiner and arrested him, according to the affidavit.

Sheriff’s office detectives determined that Vancouver police reports showed Joiner’s physical description, clothing, color of his bag, firearm and methods all matched with the Sprint store robbery. They tried to speak with Joiner at the jail Oct. 28 regarding the evidence, but he refused, according to the affidavit.

Joiner is thought to have used a blue, reusable bag with Disney characters on it in the Sprint store robbery. Vancouver police officers photographed such a bag when it was located in the van Joiner was driving, but the vehicle was released to his girlfriend. A deputy tracked down the bag, and the victims reported having seen the robber carrying it, court records say.

The sheriff’s office further alleges that cellphone records place Joiner near the Sprint store the night it was robbed.

Clark County Superior Court Judge Daniel Stahnke set bail in Joiner’s latest case at $200,000 on Tuesday. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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