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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: robberies

Store fights booze thieves w/ mace

Employees at a Spokane grocery store pepper sprayed the front doors to try to stop two suspected booze thieves from attacking them on Friday, police say.

Police say Kerry Alan Zaugg, 24, appeared to be preparing to assault an employee at Grocery Boys, 3430 N. Crestline St., with a stolen $60 bottle of Grey Goose vodka until another employee emerged from the store with a baseball bat.

Zaugg had been chased in the parking lot after running from the store with the booze.

Co-defendant Norman L. Caoile, 25, was standing nearby and told employees to let Zaugg go after he gave them back the bottle. When an employee instead called 911, Caoile tried to knock the phone from his hand, then chased the employees back to the store with a tire iron, police say.

Police arrested the men in the parking lot. Caoile told officers he was trying to defend Zaugg with the tire iron because employees were continuing to attack him even after he'd given the booze bottle back.

Friday was the first day grocery stores could sell liquor in Washington. Zaugg and Caoile appeared in Superior Court Monday on charges of first-degree robbery.

McD’s robbery may be linked to others

Spokane police released this and other surveillence photos of the armed robbery at McDonald's May 25. View more here.

A takeover-style robbery that targeted customers and employees at a McDonald’s in south Spokane may be connected to a similar gunpoint attack at a nearby home five days later.

Victims in both robberies described the masked men’s weapons as black, semi automatic handguns and a sawed-off, single barrel shotgun, according to information released Monday.

Read the rest of my story here.

Boise fugitive arrested near Spirit Lake

A man suspected in a Boise home-invasion robbery was arrested recently near Spirit Lake.

The Kootenai County sheriff's SWAT team took Bryson G. Smith, 27, into custody Wednesday at 28128 N. Highway 41.

A confidential source told detectives Smith was hiding at the address and was wanted in Ada County on a no-bond warrant for a home-invasion robbery April 8. 

Members of the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force confirmed he was there and obtained a search warrant. Smith was booked into the Kootenai County Jail to await extradition to Boise.

Sheriff's officials were kind enough to send out before and after mug shots of Smith.

Suspect’s friend deplores ‘stupid’ crime

A 17-year-old boy was arrested for a knife-point robbery early Tuesday that even his friend said was stupid.

Edward D. Sjoquist is accused of threatening three people with a knife and stealing a wallet near North Monroe Street and West Cleveland Avenue about 12:35 a.m.

One of the victims told police another man approached her attacker and yelled at him and the two ran into a nearby home.

Police contacted that man, who said he and Sjoquist were walking to McDonald's when Sjoquist said he was going to rob someone. The man said he ran up to Sjoquist after the attack and told him “he was stupid and smacked the wallet” out of his hand.

Police found marijuana in Sjoquist's pants pocket when he was booked into juvenile detention center. He's to be charged as an adult with three counts of first-degree robbery.

Robbers take over South Hill McDonald’s

Four masked robbers took over a McDonald's on the South Hill at gunpoint Friday night, and police are asking for help identifying them. 

Police today released three surveillance photos of the robbers, who accosted six people inside the restaurant at 4647 S. Regal St., just after 10 p.m.

The victims complied with demands and none was injured. The robbers, who wore black clothing, fled on foot before police arrived. 

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to arrests. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Police: We saved repeat offender’s life

Spokane police say they saved the life of a career criminal and sex offender when he went into cardiac arrest after he was taken into custody Sunday.

Officer Nick Geren administered first aid on Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, while he was being transported to the jail after he was picked up the Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team.

Epperson was taken to a hospital, then booked into jail on a slew of felony charges related to a home-invasion robbery and a burglary spree.

Epperson is level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. A woman who identified herself as his sister said in an email to The Spokesman-Review that he has “at least 10 kids that we know about.”

“He is a menace,” Melissa Epperson said in the email. “Please fight to keep him locked up for your community and his children.”

Epperson was arrested just three weeks ago for a burglary in the Country Homes area in north Spokane County.

Investigators believe he burglarized homes of guns, electronics and jewelry to help pay a $1,000 debt to his heroin dealer. Epperson's girlfriend, Chelsey M. Loe, also is suspected in the case. Investigators searched the couple's home at 51 E. Crown on May 6 and recovered meth and suspected stolen property.

Epperson told sheriff's detectives he burglarized homes with Anthony L. Haines, who was arrested May 2 with a gun stolen in one of the burglaries, according to court documents.

Epperson was out of jail awaiting arraignment in that case when police say he helped rob residents at a home in the Indian Trail area May 22. Suspects Nathan W. Day, 21, and Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, were arrested Wednesday and remain in jail.

Geren was awarded the Spokane Police Department's life-saving award in 2008 after he and Officer Brian Eckersley administered CPR on a woman who'd fallen unconscious in downtown Spokane.

Sex offender arrested in home invasion

A sex offender suspected in a violent gunpoint home-invasion robbery was arrested today.

 Joshua Clint Epperson, 32, was booked into jail on felony charges related to an early-morning attack last Tuesday in the 9600 block of North Alpine Court in the Indian Trail area.

The Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team located Epperson in the 4200 block of North Atlantic Street, Officer Brian Eckersley said in a news release.

Epperson was arrested just three weeks ago for a burglary in the Country Homes area in north Spokane County and is to be arraigned Wednesday on residential burglary, first-degree trafficking in stolen property and resisting arrest charges.

He was out of jail awaiting that arraignment when police allege he partook in the robbery, which involved the victims being bound with zip ties and one being pistol whipped.

Suspects Nathan W. Day, 21, and Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, were arrested Wednesday and remain in jail.

Epperson faces charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of unlawful imprisonment and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Eckersley said. Prosecutors filed charges on Friday.

Epperson is a level 3 sex offender, which is the classification considered most likely to reoffend. He was convicted of third-degree rape of a child in 2003. He also has a conviction for indecent liberties.

Man gets 10+ years for home robbery

A Spokane man has been sentenced to about 10 years in prison for a gunpoint robbery last year.

Jeremy L. Standon, 30, has an extensive criminal history that includes convictions for first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, money laundering, drug possession, second-degree identity theft, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm.

He recorded his second first-degree robbery conviction - and second strike under the state's three-strikes-and-you're-out law - when he pleaded guilty in late April. Now he's headed to prison on a 129-month sentence that will include credit for 364 days already served in jail after being sentenced this week in Spokane County Superior Court.

Co-defendant John Gibson Dean, 30, is awaiting trial. He was arrested earlier this month after a couple months as a fugitive.

Police say Dean and Standon robbed three people of money, jewelry and electronics after being allowed inside the home at 1415 N. Post St. May 9, 2011. Police paid a confidential informant $100 for information that helped identify the men.

2 arrested in Indian Trail home invasion

Two men have been arrested for a north Spokane home-invasion robbery in which the victims were bound with zip ties and one was pistol whipped.

Nathan W. Day, 21, and Nathan T. McDaniels, 28, are accused of entering a home in the 9600 block of North Alpine Court in the Indian Trail area about 2:45 a.m Tuesday, awaking a resident and asking him about a safe before stealing other items.

The victim said Day was armed with a handgun, and McDaniels told him to “be quiet and do what we say or you are going to get shot,” according to court documents prepared by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Day struck the victim with in the eye with the butt of the gun, but the man said he was able to break free from his zip ties and jump out a window. He said his Wii gaming console and games were stolen during the robbery.

Another resident told police four men knocked on the door and he let McDaniels in to use the bathroom. One of the men asked him if he wanted to smoke meth, and the man said he walked the men downstairs to wake up his girlfriend. That's when Day displayed the gun and the man was bound with zip ties as others stole items from the home, court documents say.

But that man was able to break free, too, and he grabbed a sword and struck McDaniels in the arm with it. The robbers then fled. The man's girlfriend said the robbers also threatened her with a gun and stole her iPhone.

Detectives conducting surveillance on the suspects Wednesday spotted McDaniels in the 4700 block of North Standard and arrested him. He had with him credit cards and a driver's license belonging to one of the victims, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Day was arrested Wednesday in the 900 block of East Wabash Avenue with a stolen handgun. Police recovered the stolen Wii console from a home there, as well as baggies of methamphetamine.

The men were jailed on robbery, burglary and kidnapping charges. A third suspect, Joshua C. Epperson, is not yet in custody,

Robbery case resolved in 3 weeks

That was fast.

A 35-year-old man arrested for a robbery nearly three weeks ago has pleaded guilty.

Shawn James Combs was sentenced to about 3 1/2 years in prison for first-degree robbery last week in Spokane County Superior Court.

He'd made his first court appearance May 2 after being arrested on a warrant for the Feb. 2 hold-up at the Select Inn Motel, 1420 W. 2nd Ave.

Combs got $150 in the robbery. He's required to pay back the money as part of his sentencing.

He remains in the Spokane County Jail awaiting transport to prison.
  

Ore. man accused of robbing CdA bank

An Oregon man already serving 22 years in prison for bank robbery is accused of robbing a North Idaho bank at gunpoint in August 2010.

 A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Bradley W. Monical, of Bend, for the Aug. 27, 2010, hold up of Wells Fargo, 114 E. Appleway in Coeur d'Alene.

Monical, 41, was sentenced in July 2011 to 22 years in prison for robbing a bank in Coos Bay, Ore., in April 2011.

Surveillance photos released by Coeur d'Alenepolice in August 2010 show a masked gunman wearing a bicycle helmet and denim shorts climbing on furniture at the bank. He had a cloth bag that said “Freedom is not free.”

Employees said he told them to hurry while waving a large handgun. He left on a gray, three-speed bicycle.

It's unclear how authorities identified Monical as a suspect, but previous news reports say the FBI suspected him of being a serial robber.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, as well as three years of probation, if convicted.

Monical was convicted of armed robbery in Oregon in 1989 and at one point tried to be his own lawyer in the case in Coos Bay, according to the Coos Bay World.

Man arrested for grocery store robberies

A man suspected of robbing four grocery stores in Spokane County was arrested Wednesday. 

Daniel W. Drake, 38, reportedly admitted to robbing three Safeway stores and one Rosauers store in Spokane and Spokane Valley recently, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Drake is allegedly pictured fleeing the Safeway store on Wellesley Avenue after a robbery Monday.

Detectives received tips that helped them identify Drake within hours of the Sheriff's Office releasing that surveillance photo and others Tuesday.

Court documents show Drake's sister, father and mother told police they were positive the man pictured was Drake.

The Spokane police Patrol Anti-Crime Team assisted detectives from both agencies in locating Drake. They found him at a motel after nine hours of surveillance, then arrested him in the area of Argonne Road and Montgomery Avenue without incident.

Drake is accused of robbing Safeway at 14020 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley May 2, as well as the Shadle Park Safeway, 2507 W. Wellesley Ave., May 7.

The other robberies occurred April 29 at Safeway at 933 E. Mission Ave. in Spokane and the Rosaurers at 2610 E. 29th Ave. on May 7 about 2:30 p.m., just two hours before the Shadle Park robbery. No money was actually stolen in the Rosaurers case.

Drake is to appear in Spokane County Superior Court via video from the jail, where he's booked on four counts of second-degree robbery.

“The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit has recently assigned a detective to investigate all robbery reports that are taken,” sheriff's spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin said in a news release. “The ability to assign a lead detective to these crimes has been, and will continue to be, imperative in solving these types of crimes and ensuring the safety of the citizens of Spokane County.”

Pics show suspect in Safeway robberies

Police believe the same man robbed two Safeway stores in the Spokane area recently, and they're asking for help identifying him.  

Surveillance photos (above and below, left) released by the Spokane County Sheriff's Office today show the suspect at WalMart before detectives say he robbed the Safeway at 14020 E. Sprague Ave., in Spokane Valley on May 2.

Another photo (right) shows the robber just after he left the Shadle Park Safeway on Monday.

In the first robbery, a man described as white, in his 30s with short hair and a medium build placed a backpack at the customer service counter and ordered an employee to fill it with money. The victim was under the impression the man had a weapon in the bag, according to the sheriff's office. 

Detectives located the man's discarded clothing and tracked them to a WalMart store where he's believed to have been before the robbery.

The same man is believed to have robbed the Safeway in the Shadle Park area, 2507 W. Wellesley Ave., about 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help identify the man. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

1 arrested for gunpoint motel robbery

A 35-year-old man has been charged with a gunpoint robbery at a Spokane motel that netted $150.

Shawn James Combs was arrested Tuesday for the Feb. 2 hold-up at the Select Inn Motel, 1420 W. 2nd Ave.

Combs is accused of robbing the motel owner after inquiring about a job while carrying a hammer, then returning with a handgun, according to court documents.

A man who accompanied Combs to the motel said they rode bicycles there, and Combs told him he needed to collect money from the owner. The man did not participate in the robbery but was bitten by a police K-9 after the heist and contacted by officers. He identified Combs from a photo montage, as did the motel owner.

Prosecutors summonsed Combs to court after filing charges April 9, but he didn't show up and a $100,000 warrant was issued for his arrest.

He remains in the Spokane County Jail after appearing in court today.
  

Suspect’s dad has choice words in court

The father of a man suspected of robbing elderly women gave him a message of tough love Monday in court.

“When you start a new life, I will invite you back as my son,” Terry Stefan told Jared A. Stefan, 27. “The stuff you pulled…is not acceptable to me. I need you to be a clean person. Totally drug free. I love you, Jared.”

Stefan said his son doesn't need a 90-day drug treatment program, he needs a year-long program and needs to start his life over somewhere else.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno said she took not only the seriousness of the charges but Terry Stefan's words to heart when she decided to set Jared Stefan's bond even higher than that requested by prosecutors.

He remains jailed on $125,000 for two robbery charges, and $10,000 bond for an unrelated burglary and stolen property case from last year.

“He's basically out of control and seems to have some real drug issues,” Moreno said. “I'm more concerned about the safety of the community right now.”

A second suspect, James L. Francis, 25, also is in jail.

Spokane police arrested the men Friday after a woman was robbed of her purse outside Bed, Bath and Beyond at 5628 N. Division St. by a man driven from the scene by another man.

Witnesses remembered the license plate of the car, which is registered to Terry Stefan. Police went to the Stefan home and arrested Jared after his father called him.

Francis was arrested after his mother called 911 and said he was trying to get her to pick him up at the McDonald's at Division Street and Longfellow Avenue.

Police believe Francis also robbed a woman of her purse outside DSW Shoes at 4727 N. Division St., on March 11 and was driven from the scene by Stefan. The woman was injured after being thrown to the ground and dragged, police say.

“Jared admitted to him and Francis specifically singling out elderly females because they cannot put up a fight,” documents say.
  

2 men accused of robbing teen w/ knife

Two men were arrested for allegedly robbing a teenage woman at at knife-point outside an East Sprague Avenue convenience store last weekend.

Richard Jeffery Lee, 52, is accused of robbing the 19-year-old woman as she exited the Quick E Mart at 4123 E. Sprague Ave. about 8:50 p.m. Friday.

The woman said Lee put a four-inch knife to her throat and demanded money as Rikki Lynn Morrison, 53, stood by.

The woman she she removed all the change and cash from her pockets before Lee and Morrison ran away, according to court documents.  She called 911 from her home in Spokane Valley, and sheriff's deputies located the suspects near the scene of the crime. The victim identified Lee and Morrison as her assailants.

Lee is jailed on $75,000 bond for first-degree robbery. Morrison, who said in court Monday that he didn't do anything, is jailed on $15,000 bond for the same charge.
  

Tip leads to arrest in July bank robbery

A tip from a concerned citizen led to the arrest Friday of a suspect in a July bank robbery.

Christopher A. Horn, 25, is accused of robbing the Washington State Employees Credit Union, 2523 Northwest Blvd., on July 18 about 12:20 p.m. He appeared in Superior Court today on a first-degree robbery charge and remains in jail.

Spokane police say Horn, wearing a baseball cap and Aviator sunglasses, demanded cash from a bank teller but never displayed a weapon. He told employees not to touch the alarm.

The sunglasses were left at the scene and submitted by detectives for DNA evidence, but the results are not yet back. Police did note in court documents that fingerprints on the glasses did not match Horn's.

Detectives began investigating Horn Feb. 28 based on the tip from the concerned citizen. Employees at the bank looked at photo montages; one positively identified Horn as the robber.

Horn is a convicted felon who most recently was credited for a day served in jail after pleading guilty last month to solicitation to commit possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Photo shows Browne’s Addition gunman

Spokane police today released a surveillance photo of a robbery last week at a Browne's Addition convenience store in hopes someone will recognize the gunman.

The robbery was reported about 11:49 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Sunset Grocery, 1908 W. Sunset Blvd.

The gunman is described as 20 to 22 years old, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and 150 to 160 pounds. He wore a black knit ski mask, dark hooded sweatshirt, black coat, dark loose pants and black and white athletic shoes. The gun is described as a black semi-automatic pistol.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

2 charged in four-pizza armed robbery

Two suspects have been identified in a knife-point robbery that netted four pizzas and nothing else.

Manuel Torres, 21, has been charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery for the Jan. 29 heist in the area of 1800 W. Gardner Ave.

A 16-year-old girl is charged as a juvenile.

The two are accused of stealing four pizzas from a Domino's Pizza delivery driver after the girl ordered five pizzas. Spokane police believe Torres threatened the man with a knife and grabbed the top pizza bag containing four pizzas.

The girl had placed the order from her mother's cellphone. Her mother identified her to police as having her phone that night. The victim and other witnesses identified the girl and Torres from photo montages.

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.

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