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Alaska robbery suspect arrested he fails to wash off disguise

Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska- Memo to robbers: If you disguise yourself as a Smurf, make sure you wipe behind your ears afterward.

Anchorage police said a man painted his face blue and tried to rob a hotel, but was arrested when officers spotted residual stains on his neck, ears and forehead that hadn't washed off.

Daniel Peter Clark, 19, is charged with robbery and assault.

Anchorage police Lt. Paul Honeman said the robbery was reported at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

A Super 8 motel clerk said a man with a blue face walked into the motel and asked for money. When the clerk said no, the man pulled out a knife and waived it at the clerk.

The clerk retreated into a hotel office and locked the door. The suspect fled on foot without any money, Honeman said.

Police put out a description of the suspect: a man in his early 20s, thin, with short blond hair wearing a puffy red coat like a ski jacket. And a blue face.

Much of the description sounded familiar to Officer Kevin McDonald.

One day earlier, he had responded to a call of a disturbance at a different hotel. He spoke to a young man with short blond hair who was wearing a puffy red coat.

McDonald and Sgt. Chris Sims drove to that hotel on Saturday and spoke to the desk clerk. Twenty minutes after the robbery call, Clark appeared.

"In runs Mr. Clark, still wearing his blue face," Honeman said. "It was a clue."

Blue ink on his fingers also was a tip-off.

Police believe Clark ran from the Super 8, washed his face somewhere and walked to the other hotel, where he was checked in. Blue stain, however, was prominent on his ears, neck and throat.

Police obtained a search warrant for Clark's room. They recovered a knife sheath and an ink blotter commonly used at bingo parlors for stamping cards.

"He appears to have cut it open and emptied the contents into an ice bucket," Honeman said. "He painted himself up good."

Police photographed Clark with the blue stains in place.

He is being held at the Anchorage Jail with bail set at $3,000 (euro2,486), Honeman said.

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