Spokane police arrested a man Thursday evening they say plotted to rob a convenience store in Browne’s Addition.
Police responded to a report of a person with a weapon near the store at 6:30 p.m. and followed a man matching the description inside Sunset Grocery at 1908 W. Sunset Blvd. Officers apprehended the man, 28-year-old Justin Werle, while he walked to the checkout counter with his hand under his coat.
Police found a sawed-off shotgun in Werle’s jacket pocket. The weapon had been illegally modified.
Werle became combative in the patrol car and had to be restrained, according to the police department.
Werle, a nine-time convicted felon, was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of attempted first-degree armed robbery, felon in possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm. His bail was set at $35,000 at a hearing Friday afternoon.
A woman who identified herself as Werle’s mother told the judge her son walked to the store to protect a female cashier, who was concerned about recent robberies. Police said the store has been robbed twice this month already, in addition to two robberies last year.
Police are investigating whether Werle is connected to the other crimes.