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Police not fooled by diversion tactic

Mon., June 22, 2009, 9:08 a.m.

An apparent diversionary tactic by a drug store robber failed, and police arrested a Spokane man Sunday afternoon on the North Side after residents saw a man running from the scene of a Walgreens robbery.

Lance S. Shaw, 26, was taken into custody by officers at Howard Street and Providence Avenue shortly after the 3 p.m. holdup, said Spokane police Officer Tim Moses.

Shaw pulled a drug container from his pocket and appeared to be taking the drugs when officers took him into custody at gunpoint, Moses said.

“Residents helped a lot,” Moses said of the witnesses who saw the man running to west and helped officers locate him.

The incident started with a telephone call to 911, in which the caller said a man named Joey was holding a baby at gunpoint demanding crack cocaine in the 2500 block of East Mission Avenue.

Officers responding to that call quickly figured out that it was a false report. The Walgreens at Division Street and Empire Avenue reported the robbery of OxyContin right after the false report.

Later, surveillance video from the store showed a man making a pay phone call right before the robbery, Moses said.

Shaw faces one count of first-degree robbery.

Detectives will investigate whether Shaw may be connected to other crimes, he said.

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