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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Nicole Stearns

Couple charged in armed robbery spree

A couple accused of robbing a video game store with a pellet gun in January has been charged with five other gunpoint robberies.

Merle A. Andrew Jr., 36, and his girlfriend, suspected getaway driver Nicole N. Stearns, 29, (pictured) are accused of robbing an elderly man Nov. 13 after going to the man's home on West Four Mound Road and claiming Andrew had car trouble.

 Andrew told police he was familiar with the man because the man helped him get his car out of a ditch a couple years ago, police say. He said he used the stolen money to buy heroin.

Police beleive Andrew and Stearns also robbed Village Center Cinemas in Wandermere at 12622 N. Division St. on Dec. 2.

The couple also is accused of robbing a movie theater in Airway Heights Nov. 21, according to court documents.

They were arrested for that robbery Jan. 17, after they were already jailed for the holdup at GameStop in Airway Heights, which occurred just after Andrew stole a pellet gun from Wal-Mart.

Andrew also is accused of robbing the GameStop at 410 E. Holland Road on Nov. 26.

He's also believed to have tried to rob Ace Cash Express, 3515 N. Division St., on Nov. 29 and the Howard Johnson, 3033 N. Division, on Nov. 30.

Stearns and Andrew were charged Monday with four counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted first-degree robbery.

Cops: Man steals pellet gun, robs store

Police say a man made quick use of a pellet gun he stole from Wal-Mart: He robbed a video game store across the parking lot.

 Suspect Merle A. Andrew, Jr., 36, was arrested early today for a robbery Tuesday at GameStop in Airway Heights.

Surveillance video shows a man police believe is Andrew steal the Airsoft pistol from the Wal-Mart at 1221 South Hayford Road about 4 p.m., then return to a 1997 Honda Accord that was parked in the fire lane, according to court documents.

The car traveled through the parking lot to GameStop, where Andrew exited and returned after robbing the store of $976, police say. Police identified the driver as Nicole N. Stearns, 29, (pictured) and arrested her for first-degree robbery the same time as Andrew.

A sheriff's deputy located the Accord at Highway 2 and Spotted Road about 1:30 a.m today and detained Andrew and Stearns.

Stearns allegedly told officers she drove when Andrew committed five other robberies in Spokane County, police say.

Stearns and Andrew appeared in Superior Court today on a first-degree robbery charge. Judge Annette Plese set Andrew's bond at $10,000. Stearns is in jail on an additional municipal court warrant.

Andrew has no felony convictions and 12 misdemeanor convictions. He's unemployed, is supported by his father and food stamps and has six children who live with their mother, according to court testimony.

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