A 24-year-old man was arrested without incident on Thursday in connection with a Monday robbery in Spokane Valley involving a carjacking and kidnapping of an elderly couple at a Wal-Mart store.
Blaine Allen Cornwell was taken into custody by U.S. marshals and members of a violent crime task force while in the 5700 block of North Elm Street as he and another person were getting into a vehicle about 5 p.m., according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The second person was also taken into custody, but not booked into jail, authorities said.
Cornwell was being held at Spokane County Jail on Friday and is facing two counts of kidnapping, three counts of first-degree robbery and five counts of second-degree assault.
Several of the charges stem from a robbery at a Shopko store in north Spokane on Jan. 30 in which a shoplifter brandished a knife to escape security personnel, the marshals said.
“This was a good one,” Spokane sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin said of the arrest. He said the investigation was initiated by major crimes detectives for Spokane Valley.
On Monday, a man spotted trying to steal items from Wal-Mart at 15727 E. Broadway Ave. was confronted by security personnel as he was leaving the store.
The shoplifter pulled a knife and slashed at and missed a security guard. He then fled into the parking lot where he jumped into a vehicle occupied by an elderly couple seated as passengers. They were released near Barker Road and Indiana Avenue. They had been waiting for their daughter to purchase groceries when they were kidnapped.
The U.S. Marshals Service joined a Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force effort to apprehend the suspects.
The task force of federal, state and local officers is used to investigate and apprehend suspects in serious crimes.