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Sirens & Gavels

Beef jerky aids in robbery arrest

Beef jerky may have helped Spokane police seal a case against a robbery suspect.

Michael T. Gaze, 28, denied robbing the Conoco at 1602 W. 3rd., but police found a piece of jerky stolen from the store on the ground near him. Gaze was scheduled to plead not guilty to first-degree robbery on Wednesday, but his arraignment was postponed to Jan. 18.

He was arrested Jan. 3 after a clerk said he claimed to have a gun and stole the jerky after she refused to sell him beer because he was drunk, Spokane police said.

The clerk told police that Gaze claimed to have a gun and reached toward his waistband as another employee tried to grab the case of beer from him. The employee saved the beer, but Gaze threatened to shoot him, grabbed a $6.59 package of beef jerky and walked out of the store.

Gaze was arrested a short while later near Pacific and Maple. Already on probation for a drunken driving conviction in 2009, he remains in Spokane County Jail on $75,000 bond.

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