Suspect arrested in Grand Portage Trading Post robbery

Rhonda Silence

Edwin Olaf Vick Edwin Olaf Vick On Thursday, October 1, 2009, cashiers at the casino window of the Grand Portage Trading Post were victims of an armed robbery. Edwin Olaf Vick, 73 of Lutsen, has been arrested in the Twin Cities for probable cause related to the robbery.

An emergency call came in to Cook County Law Enforcement at 10:45 p.m. from an employee hiding in the back of the store. At first it was unknown if there was one or two suspects. Cook County Sheriff Deputies and State Patrol responded immediately and Border Patrol officers were contacted. Outbound checks of every vehicle going through the Pigeon River border crossing were conducted.

During the robbery, in which the suspect wore a ski mask and rubber dishwashing gloves, a rifle with a silver scope was used. No shots were fired and no one was physically injured.

Sheriff Mark Falk said Cook County Law Enforcement received a tip early Monday, October 5. Grand Portage Trading Post surveillance cameras captured the suspect on film and the photo, along with the description provided to media sources, led to a possible identification. Falk said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) was contacted and that agency located and arrested Vick. It is anticipated that he will be arraigned on charges related directly to the robbery by the end of the week.

Cook County District Court had already charged Vick with crimes indirectly related to the robbery: Felon in Possession of a Firearm; Failure to Register as a Sex Offender; and 5th Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance. The sex offender requirement stemmed from a conviction in 1998.

Falk said it is “highly doubtful” that the robbery was related to one that occurred at the trading post on May 7, 2006. That incident occurred at 4:53 a.m. and the suspect fired a weapon. From witness reports and the video tape, the 2006 suspect is described as a male 5’7” - 5’9”, medium build wearing a dark colored baseball hat, light gray or white hooded sweatshirt, a gray knit jacket with a large black leather triangle stitching on each shoulder, and dark colored pants. He was also wearing black leather driving gloves with holes over each knuckle and his face was covered by a black full-face ski mask.

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa offered a $10,000 reward for this latest robbery and has upped the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the 2006 robbery to $20,000.

Anyone with any information on either robbery is asked to contact the Cook County Sheriff ’s Office at (218) 387-3030.

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