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Rash of robberies hit region

Police departments in Superior and Ashland are investigating armed robberies that took place this week.

Superior police responded to an armed robbery that took place early Wednesday morning at the Super 8 Motel, 4901 E. Second St. and a Monday night robbery at Krist Oil, 2821 E. Second St. Suspects remain at large.

Armed robberies were also reported at the Ashland Super 8 Motel, West Lakeshore Drive, two hours earlier Wednesday, and a robbery at the EZ Payday Loans, 2400 Lakeshore Drive E., was reported about noon Monday.

Superior Investigation Sgt. Derrick Hughes said there was no ready explanation for the sudden rash of robberies.

“My advice to the clerks is just what they have done thus far,” Hughes said. “Cooperate and keep in mind it’s not their money — and the fact that it’s just money, not worth getting hurt over.”

He encouraged people to be aware of their surroundings, and call 911 right away if they see something that appears to be suspicious.

“Don’t make yourself paranoid, but just be observant every once in a while throughout your day in case there is something that happens to be taking place in the area,” Hughes said.

In all four robberies, the suspect was described as a lone male with a handgun. With the help of officers from the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department and the Bad River Police Department, Ashland police were able to identify and arrest a suspect in the EZ Payday Loans robbery.

A Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department deputy made a Wednesday afternoon traffic stop on a vehicle that matched descriptions from several armed robberies that had occurred in Hayward, Rice Lake and Ashland. Following his arrest, a 26-year-old Lac du Flambeau man was identified as a suspect in the Ashland robbery and a Superior robbery as well as an attempted robbery in Iron River according to a release from Hayward Chief of Police Joel Claperno. The suspect is being held in the Sawyer County Jail on a $20,000 cash bond.

Superior police officers responded to an armed robbery around 3 a.m. Wednesday at the Superior Super 8. They set up a perimeter and the clerk was interviewed for initial information. A Duluth Police Department K-9 Unit also responded to assist.

The lone female clerk was working the front desk when the suspect entered through the main lobby doors. She described the suspect as a male wearing dark clothing with his face covered, brandishing a dark-colored handgun. The clerk gave the suspect the money and he fled on foot. The clerk immediately locked the doors and called 911.

Tracking the suspect with a K-9 was unsuccessful and police believe the suspect possibly had a car waiting or parked in the area, according to Hughes.

Ashland police reported a similar robbery around 1 a.m. at a Super 8 Motel there. The suspect fled the area in a dark-colored SUV-style vehicle.

Superior police also responded to an armed robbery around 10 p.m. Monday at Krist Oil, 2821 E. Second St.

Officers met with the lone female clerk and two men who saw the robbery take place as they drove past the store, according to a news release issued by Hughes.

The suspect in that incident was described as a white male with bluish-gray eyes with a stocky build. The man was wearing dark clothing with his face concealed. He pointed what the clerk believed was a handgun at her and told her to put the money in a bag and she wouldn’t be hurt.

The clerk complied and the suspect fled. She was uninjured.

Anyone with information may call the Superior Police Department at the tip line at 715-395-7468, or 911. The department also can be reached on Facebook or the anonymous texting tip line, keyword “spdtip” at 847411 on your cell phone. Call the Ashland Police Department at 715-682-7062 with information on the robberies there.

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