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Sept. 18, 2020

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Man sentenced for robberies, including at Hazel Dell bank

67-year-old gets more than nine years in federal prison for 2017 crimes

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

A man who committed a multiweek series of robberies in 2017, which included a Hazel Dell Chase Bank branch, was sentenced Tuesday to more than nine years in federal prison.

Dannie Kay Alston, 67, pleaded guilty Feb. 21 in U.S. District Court in Oregon to the Aug. 7, 2017, robbery at the bank located at 200 N.E. 78th St., according to a Department of Justice news release. Alston also admitted to carrying out robberies in the Oregon cities of Medford, Salem and Roseburg through Sept. 9, 2017.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. McShane ordered that Alston pay back the $11,748 stolen from the banks. Alston took $2,300 in the Hazel Dell robbery, the news release says.

Around 3:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 2017, a man entered the Hazel Dell bank, approached a teller’s window and demanded money, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. No weapons were displayed. He then took the money and fled on foot. A police dog was called but was unable to locate the suspect, the sheriff’s office said.

In all four robberies, Alston wore sunglasses and a ski or baseball cap to conceal his identity, the news release says. Alston communicated with bank tellers primarily with handwritten notes or signs.

Following his last robbery, in Roseburg, witnesses provided a description of Alston’s getaway vehicle, the news release says. Oregon State Police spotted the vehicle on northbound Interstate 5, and troopers “initiated a high risk traffic stop on the vehicle in Sutherlin (Ore.)” before arresting Alston, according to KVAL-TV.

Police recovered the note used in the robbery, a starter pistol with loaded caps, Taser, sunglasses, wig and $3,441 in cash, the news release says.

Alston has no known permanent address. Prior to this case, his criminal history spanned over five decades and across four states — California, Texas, Florida and Oregon — and includes burglary, robbery, assault, theft and drug convictions, according to the news release.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter