The smell of hot pizza helped police arrest a robbery suspect Monday.
Marco Antonio Rocha, 23, is accused with Courtney R. Araiza, 21, and Augustin Tello, 17, of robbing a Domino's pizza delivery driver at knifepoint after arranging a delivery in northeast Spokane.
The driver called the customer after knocking on a door in the 700 block of East Nebraska Avenue and getting no answer. A woman assured him someone would be out shortly, but three people approached and ordered him to the ground, police said today.
The victim ran, but one of the robbers struck him in the face, and another pulled out a “knife-like object” and demanded his wallet and money bag, police said.
They also stole pizza.
Two robbers drove away in the victim's car but abandoned it after attacking a man who'd yelled at them to slow down.
Police responded at 12:22 a.m. and learned the caller who ordered the pizza lived just a couple houses away from the address given to the driver. Officers approached the home and smelled hot - literally and figuratively - pizza inside.
They located Rocha in a bedroom at 808 E. Nebraska with time-stamped pizza boxes labeled with the 700 block address. They also found the victim's cell phone and money in the room, as well as a pizza bag and money bag in garbage cans behind the home.
Araiza was arrested after admitting to police he'd planned the robbery with Rocha and Tello and acted as a “look out,” according to court documents.
Tello was arrested after he arrived at Holy Family Hospital with a cut on his head. Staff called police, and the boy admitted to being involved in the robbery and said someone hit his head as he was fleeing. He was booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center but faces a first-degree robbery charge in Superior Court.
Rocha remains in jail on $40,000 bond after appearing in Superior Court Monday on a first-degree robbery charge.