Two people in custody for early morning robbery

Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.209.7188

Friday, July 19, 2013 at 10 a.m.

Incident Number: 13-238818

Two people are in custody for two counts of First Degree Robbery each after Patrol Officers conduct a follow up investigation on a robbery that occurred early this morning. Patrol Officers and Major Crimes Detectives were able to take the suspects into custody and execute a search warrant yielding more evidence and possibly more victims of arrangements that were made on the website BACKPAGE.

This morning around 2:30 a.m., Patrol Officers responded to a report of a robbery near Colton and Jay St. in North Spokane. The victim reported that two males, one armed with a pistol and the other a knife, robbed him of his wallet and cell phone. They returned his debit card and demanded he get them more money or they would use the address on his driver's license to find his family. The victim was not injured during the robbery.

The preliminary investigation by Patrol revealed this began with a BACKPAGE website arrangement. The man had met a female on the website who went by the name “Melanie” and he agreed to meet her near a park in the area. It was shortly after they met that the two armed men robbed him. She was seen leaving with one of the men. Patrol Officers located the female in the area and identified her as 25 year old Tenisha M. Herrell.

Patrol identified a nearby apartment on the 400 block of East Magnesium as being involved with the suspects. They questioned several occupants of the apartment and were able to identify 19 year old Nicholas R.L. Sailors as one of the armed men.

Major Crimes Detectives responded and assisted Patrol in securing a search warrant for the apartment. Evidence of this robbery as well as others was recovered. Both Herrell and Sailors were booked into Spokane County Jail on two charges of First Degree Robbery a piece.

There has been a series of similar robberies involving a BACKPAGE escort who goes by “Melanie”. The earliest case discovered so far was July 2. Numerous victims have been contacted and additional arrests and charges are forthcoming. Detectives don't believe these were random incidents; rather they were orchestrated when the victims agreed to meet “Melanie” after conversing on the BACKPAGE website. If you have any information on these crimes, or have been a victim of a similar incident, you are asked to call Crime Check at 509.456.2233.

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