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Suspect in 3 robberies captured in stolen car

A Fort Wayne woman was arrested Sunday after carrying out a third armed robbery in less than a month, police said.

Traci L. Dennison, 37, was arrested Sunday morning. Police say she fled the scene of two separate armed robberies and attempted to elude police in a stolen vehicle.

Shortly after 9:45 a.m., Fort Wayne police responded to a call from Kmart at 820 Coliseum Blvd. N. about an armed robbery that had just taken place, said officer Jeremy Webb, a police spokesman.

The details about what happened inside Kmart were not clear Sunday afternoon, but employees called police shortly after the incident to report an armed robbery, Webb said.

Webb said Dennison stole a Pontiac Bonneville from the parking lot of the Kmart and fled. Police found the car, which Dennison crashed, a short time later, Webb said.

Less than an hour after the incident at Kmart, police received a second call about an armed robbery – this time at Target, 6119 Stellhorn Road, Webb said.

At about 10:33 a.m., police arrived at the scene and witnesses said a female driver with light-colored skin and dark hair had stolen a black Acura from the parking lot and fled the scene, Webb said.

An officer responding to the robbery at Target heard the description of the car and driver and spotted the car near Reed Road. He followed the car westbound on State Boulevard toward Coliseum Boulevard and a slow pursuit ensued.

Dennison was arrested after pulling into a parking lot, Webb said.

At the time, officers didn’t know who the driver was, Webb said.

But a short time later, officers were able to connect Dennison with both vehicle thefts.

“Once she was under arrest, she verbally said ‘I did both,’ ” Webb said.

Dennison was arrested on two counts of armed robbery and one count of fleeing with a stolen vehicle, Webb said.

A short time after her arrest, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department released information stating that Dennison was also in custody for the two warrants related to an armed robbery at the Walgreens at Indiana 1 and Tonkel Road on Jan. 11.

According to court documents, while standing at the check-out in Walgreens, Dennison pulled a black handgun and demanded money.

The cashier was not able to open the register, so Dennison turned to a customer behind her and demanded that she hand over her purse. The woman gave up her purse and Dennison fled the store in a minivan, court records said.

She then returned home in an “excited state” and was “bragging about the robbery” to her son, court records said.

Dennison then took her son and drove to a gas station where she used the woman’s stolen credit cards to put fuel in her vehicle. A short time later, she went to a store and bought gift cards, an Xbox Live subscription and toothbrushes with the same card, court records said.

In 2006, Dennison was ordered to serve time with the Indiana Department of Correction after convictions of felony cocaine possession, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and felony failure to return to lawful detention, according to prison records.

Archie Ingersoll of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

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