FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale Police officers and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies responded to a report that an armed robbery had just occurred at the Cult Cannabis Co. retail store at 6061 Portal Way about 11pm last night, October 19th.
Ferndale Police said in an email to My Ferndale News that witnesses and video show 2 males suspects arrive at the business around 10pm. The 2 made small purchases while entering and exiting the business several times, staying in the parking lot until just before 11pm, the scheduled closing time for the business.
1 of the suspects then entered the business and pointed a handgun at an employee. The employee gave the suspect money from the cash drawer. Witnesses and video showed the 2 suspects fleeing from the business on foot.
A WCSO deputy spotted a vehicle being driven by a person matching the description of the suspect that pointed the weapon at the employee. The vehicle failed to yield to the deputy and, according to law enforcement radio transmissions at the time, was pursued westbound on Grandview Road at speeds over 100mph according to unconfirmed radio transmissions. The suspects went north on Blaine Road and then east on Bay Road. Spike strips were set and successfully deployed when the vehicle reached Vista Drive. 3 suspects were seen fleeing the disabled vehicle.
According to Ferndale Police, 2 passengers in the vehicle were tracked by Bellingham Police K-9 units and apprehended but the driver was not located.
1 of the suspects apprehended was found to have “a significant amount” of money stuffed into her clothing and had dropped money while fleeing from the disabled vehicle.
Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Justin Iverson said they were dispatched to the Vista Drive area near Enterprise Cemetery at 11:45pm and transported 1 person to PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Radio transmissions at the time indicated a multi-agency search for the third suspect was conducted in the area in and around the Delta Tech Industrial Park and Grandview Industrial Park that included assistance from an US Customs and Border Protection helicopter. As of this morning, the third yet unknown suspect remained at large according to Ferndale Police.
Arrested were 31-year-old Ramadhmi H Rashid of Seattle and 28-year-old Jeana M Hall.
Ferndale Police said Hall was charged with suspicion of first degree armed robbery since she fled with the other suspects and she attempted to flee from the vehicle with large amounts of money hidden in her clothing after it had been stopped by law enforcement.
Rashid was also charged with suspicion of first degree armed robbery since he acted as a distraction and lookout as well as fleeing with the unknown suspect according to Ferndale Police. He was also charged with second degree theft and another count of first degree armed robbery related to a separate robbery which occurred earlier the same day in Bellingham.
Both were booked into Whatcom County Jail around 2am this morning.
Rashid is also facing felony retail theft charges in Lewis County Superior Court. According to the Lewis County Daily Chronicle, Centralia Police arrested Rashid along with 2 other suspects on August 9th in the area of the Centralia Outlets shopping center. They were booked into the Lewis County Jail on suspicion of second degree organized retail theft and third degree retail theft with special circumstances. Rashid was also charged with suspicion of identity theft after reportedly providing another person’s name to Centralia Police and suspicion of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. All charges are class C felonies.
Both Rashid and Hall remained in Whatcom County Jail this morning pending a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court this afternoon.