Police: DNA from mask links ex-convict to robbery in Edmonds

EDMONDS — The robber wore a black ski mask, a construction worker’s hard hat and a dark, hooded jacket that morning in July.

He came into the sandwich shop along Highway 99 just after 10 a.m., carrying a knife.

“Give me the money!” he told the employee, who was alone at the time.

After she complied, he tried to force her into a bathroom. She had trouble with the combination lock, and at one point he pressed the knife against her stomach as he demanded she open the door.

Then he ran away.

Edmonds police converged on the scene. A police dog picked up a track. A hard hat was found in the driveway of a nearby apartment complex. A dumpster yielded a dark, hooded jacket and a ski mask.

“The suspect was not located,” Edmonds police detective David Honnen said in police reports filed Monday in Everett District Court.

That changed earlier this month.

The Washington State Patrol crime lab found DNA on the ski mask.

The genetic profile from the primary contributor reportedly was linked Oct. 14 to an ex-con whose genetic fingerprint was on file in a national database.

Ricky Claude Yandell, 49, was arrested Friday in Tacoma.

He denied involvement in the Edmonds holdup. He told detectives that the ski mask was stolen over the summer while he was staying at an Edmonds motel.

On Monday he was being held at the county jail in Everett for investigation of first-degree robbery.

The Edmonds hold-up occurred July 23. At the time, Yandell was being sought by King County authorities after he failed to return to jail from what was supposed to be an eight-hour temporary release, court papers show.

Yandell, who has felony convictions in California for robbery, theft, drugs and weapons violations, had been locked up since April on $100,000 bail.

He was picked up in Seattle after a burglary involving two men carrying knives who forced their way into a home. The house was in foreclosure. A former tenant was inside, gathering her belongings. Yandell and a former co-defendant had been emptying the place of valuables, including marijuana growing in the basement, court papers show.

Yandell’s temporary release came after he pleaded guilty to burglary and faced a likely sentence of about a year in prison. The court papers don’t specify why he was granted the eight-hour release.

His lawyer earlier filed documents describing Yandell’s struggles with drugs and mental health issues.

It appears that he was back in custody in King County by early October but was released again after a bail company posted $15,000 bond.

Scott North: 425-339-3431; north@heraldnet.com.

Video from Edmonds Police Department

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