Five Charged in Robbery

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, February 10 2012 at 4:05 PM, Updated: Fri, February 10 2012 at 4:16 PM

Five people are behind bars following an early morning robbery at a Klamath Falls motel...  And while the stolen items have been recovered, the incident could be a setback for the motel.

River Park Inn manager Kyle Llanes says the robbery happened shortly after midnight Friday morning.  "I heard car doors slamming, and a car take off, and came out here - and I guess our number 40 got robbed."

Lt. Rob Dentinger of the Klamath Falls Police Department says that 3 men and 2 women thought that 24 year old victim Blackie Bennett owed them money, and threatened Bennett witn a nightstick.  "They went into the motel room, confronted him with a weapon, and ransacked the place and took some personal belongings."

Suspects Damien Collman, Gary Don Johnson, Gary Delynn Johnson, and Jackelynn Hogan-Stevens were pulled over by police a short time later.

"All the property was located in the vehicle, as well as all the suspects."  Said Lt. Dentinger

Six years ago, a 15 year old boy was shot to death at the River's Inn Motel.  The motel closed down a short time later. 

In some ways, one of the victims in the case may be the motel - which has only been open for a couple of months following a major renovation.  Llanes says he's concerned about what incidents like the robbery might do to the motel's reputation:  "It is frustrating - very.  I don't want this place to be the way it was before.  I'm trying to run a straight business here, and I'm not going to let anybody make a bad name for this place."

All the suspects face charges including robbery, burglary, and theft.  The fifth suspect in the case is a 16 year old girl, who's lodged at the Klamath County Juvenile Department.  She's facing the same charges as the adults.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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