Eureka police on Tuesday arrested a woman wanted in connection with the robberies of three Old Town shops in recent weeks.
At about 3 p.m., Eureka resident Judy Lynn Long was taken into custody on the 1000 block of Fourth Street on suspicion of robbery, Eureka Police Department Chief Andrew Mills said. She was taken to the hospital for a medical clearance before being booked into jail.
”She was arrested with items that were either used or taken in the robbery,” Mills said.
He said Long is a suspect in two robberies over the last week and a “person of interest” in a robbery at Gypsy Sisters before Christmas.
Store manager Kristen Miller said a woman came in saying she had a bunch of money that she was going to spend and put items on the counter. As Miller wrote up the ticket, the woman pulled a knife and stole money and some clothes.
”I did try to identify the woman, but I wasn't 100 percent sure, so they couldn't arrest her,” Miller said. “So, she ended up robbing two more places.”
Last Wednesday, the entire till was taken from Belle Starr, according to an employee.
Just before 9 p.m. Saturday, a woman who police suspect was Long entered Many Hands Gallery and stole the contents of the register and seven or eight pieces of merchandise.
Gallery owner Astra Burke said the woman came in earlier in the day, cased the store and then returned at the end of the day when there was only one employee.
The woman pretended she was ready to buy merchandise before telling the employee that she had a concealed knife in her pocket and was going to rob the business. Initially, the employee refused to comply but the woman threatened to shoot her in the face with pepper spray, Burke said.
”Over the course of time, we've had lots of smaller issues with homeless people, things like that, but nothing so invasive by any stretch of the imagination,” she said. “This is new for Old Town.”
Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.