A man who may be the suspect in a string of robberies in Cedar Rapids is jailed in Linn County after a standoff Tuesday morning with police. Lieutenant Chuck Mincks says the day began with two holdups at Cedar Rapids convenience stores, and then police were called to a hotel.
He says they were handling a complaint against a customer who hadn’t paid for his room, when he came out of the room with a gun — threatening to harm himself. It led to a standoff with police that lasted about three hours. A Special Response Tactical Team arrived with some police negotiators to back them up, and other officers set up a perimeter around the building with support from dispatchers and other dispatchers. About 3 hours later he gave up and surrendered to officers.
Lieutenant Mincks says they’re working to see if the man is linked with Tuesday morning’s two robberies, in which clerks say the man showed a gun. They’re still investigating the man as a possible suspect in any of the eight weekend robberies, and while police are identifying the man they arrested as 35-year-old Brendan LaBarge, they’re not giving out photos.
Officers still plan to interview each clerk who was robbed, using photos to see if they identify the suspect as the man who robbed them. He was charged with parole violation because he was a felon and was in possession of a handgun. In addition to several gas stations, a flower shop and video store were also robbed and a car was taken in at least one of the incidents. The description’s similar, says the officer, though police can’t yet say if the man in the hotel standoff is the culprit in the mini crime wave.