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Police: Phone robber strikes again

A 26-year-old man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly robbing a man of his cellphone in a North Spokane grocery store parking lot, a little less than four months after pleading guilty to a similar crime.

Emmanuel Phillips was booked into Spokane County Jail on Saturday, facing a charge of first-degree armed robbery. Late Wednesday night, Phillips walked up to a man at the Safeway store in the 10100 block of North Newport Highway offering to sell him an iPhone, according to court documents. Phillips then claimed to have a gun and demanded the man’s cellphone and wallet before running off. A companion returned to the victim, told them Phillips is “on some pills” and handed him back his items, the man told police.

The victim followed the two men to an apartment and called police, who arrested Phillips during a traffic stop two days later, according to court documents.

Phillips was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery in an incident at a Spokane gas station in August. Phillips approached an iPhone owner and offered a trade for another brand or some drugs. When the man refused, Phillips showed a gun and demanded the phone, according to court records.

Phillips’ criminal history shows multiple arrests in Indiana for property crimes dating to 2008.

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