Three suspects in the armed robbery of a hotel were arrested as they tried to leave the scene early Thursday morning, according to the Crescent City Police Department.
Matthew McKeown, 35, was arrested and charged with robbery. Kathryn Hill, 33, and Lisa Hulford, 47, were also arrested and booked on criminal conspiracy charges.
The Del Norte County Sheriff’s dispatch received a call at 4:25 a.m. advising that a man with a long black jacket, a white mask and a long-barrelled shotgun walked into the Lighthouse Inn and was seen waving the gun in the air, according to Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack.
“He ordered the clerk to open the cash register,” Plack said, recounting witness testimony. “Once it was opened, he ordered her into the bathroom and he was heard rummaging through the drawers and cabinets.”
Police had not tallied the total amount of money that was taken as of Friday.
When police officers and Del Norte Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, they set up a perimeter around the building. After a short while, law enforcement was informed by dispatch that the suspect was associated with a tan van, Plack said.
“A systematic search of the area was conducted and the vehicle was located on the northeast side of the inn,” Plack said.
McKeown and Hulford exited the vehicle, which police later learned wouldn’t start, and attempted to escape on foot. They were pursued by officers and deputies to Sunset RV Park, Plack said.
Law enforcement eventually caught up with the suspects and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint. They were restrained without incident, Plack said.
After placing McKeown and Hulford under arrest, law enforcement returned to the vehicle and found Kathryn Hill hiding in some tall grass, and she was also taken into custody, Plack said.
Inside the van, law enforcement discovered the clothing and mask worn by the robber, a shotgun and a bag from the Lighthouse Inn containing cash from the register.
“It was an outstanding effort and an outstanding job between the sheriff’s department, police and sheriff’s dispatch to apprehend these dangerous suspects,” Plack said. “It took a collaborative effort between the agencies for us to make these arrests.”
A $100,000 bond was placed for all three suspects.