June 24, 2009 in City, Idaho

Teen suspects in WinCo robbery arrested at casino

By The Spokesman-Review

Teenagers accused of stealing a gun and beer in Spokane landed in the Kootenai County Jail early today after police say one of the teens pulled a gun on WinCo store employees and customers Tuesday evening.

Joseph A. Johnston, 19, David R. Patterson, 18, and a 17-year-old girl were being held as fugitives this morning for Spokane authorities.

The cross-border episode began earlier in the day when police investigated the theft of at least one firearm from the girl’s home on 32nd Avenue in south Spokane.

Police received a 6:54 p.m. call from the WinCo grocery store at 9257 N. Nevada St. that a man was confronted leaving the store without paying for two 18-beer packages.

The man had pulled a gun on six people, and then fled in an awaiting vehicle, according to a press release. Police said Johnston is the suspected gunman and that the girl is believed to be the getaway driver.

An informant tipped police that the suspected gunman from the robbery was a North Idaho resident. Police contacted the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department; deputies from that department later arrested the three at the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

Johnston was being held on suspicion of six counts of first-degree robbery and first-degree possession of stolen property. The girl was under investigation for the robbery, first-degree theft and first-degree possession of stolen property. Patterson was being held for first-degree possession of stolen property.

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