An armed robber took cash from the Subway restaurant in the Shadle area in north Spokane just after 8 p.m. Wednesday, the third Subway to be robbed this week.
The man showed a gun to employees at the sandwich shop at 2503 W. Wellesley Ave., Spokane police Lt. Craig Meidl said. He is described as a white man about 5-foot-6 wearing a black beanie, a black jacket with red sleeves, dark sweatpants and a red bandanna over his face.
A police dog attempted to track the man but was unsuccessful, Meidl said.
The Subway at 6420 N. Nevada St. was robbed just after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and the Subway at Hamilton Street and Augusta Avenue was robbed just before 8 p.m. Sunday. A gun was shown in both locations and witnesses at each shop said the robber was wearing a bandanna over his face.
Meidl said police are investigating whether the robberies are connected.
Law increases penalties for forced labor
OLYMPIA – Washington employers who threaten their immigrant employees with deportation or the destruction of their documents while forcing them to work can be charged with a felony.
A new law signed Wednesday stiffens the penalties for coercing workers into forced labor, adding to existing statutes that already outlaw threatening a person with physical harm to make them work. The law now allows employers to be charged with a felony if they threaten to withhold or destroy documents connected to a worker’s immigration status, or threaten to report them to immigration officials to force them to work.
Reporting someone to federal officials for being in the country illegally is not against the law; using it as a threat against workers as a form of “involuntary servitude” is.
Another term for that practice, Gov. Jay Inslee said when signing the bill, is slavery.
Records: Man had tomahawk in robbery
A man accused of brandishing a tomahawk at a store employee earlier this month appeared in court Wednesday on a charge of first-degree robbery.
Deven J. Shultz, 18, was ordered held on $10,000 bond. According to court documents, an employee at Spokane Discount at 523 S. Dishman Mica Road believed Shultz had stolen an iPod docking station, and the employee chased him from the store on March 7. Once outside, Shultz turned and pulled a tomahawk out, brandishing it at the employee, documents state.
The prosecutor handling the case said Shultz has a history of violent crime.
The arresting deputy wrote in court documents that he has been dealing with Shultz since Shultz was 12 and instantly recognized him from a photo taken inside the store.
Man accused of making child porn
Federal agents raided a Medical Lake home last week and arrested a man accused of making and distributing child pornography.
A three-count grand jury indictment accuses James G. Poindexter of using prepubescent children in the films and pictures.
Details of the case have been sealed as investigators continue working on the case. The raid occurred in a residence within the historic Hallet House in Medical Lake, according to witnesses.
Shopko pharmacy assistant loses license
State health regulators have stripped the license from a Shopko pharmacy assistant in Spokane, saying he stole 1,272 pills.
Casey V. McGaughy was accused of stealing hydrocodone and other drugs for personal use.
He never answered a formal complaint leveled by the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission late last year. The thefts were alleged to have happened between August and December 2012.
Arrests made in alleged prowling ring
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office made two arrests and served two search warrants Wednesday in a bid to break up a vehicle prowling ring they say is active in Spokane and Kootenai counties.
Homes at 4303 N. Post St. and 11123 E. 10th Ave. were searched Wednesday afternoon and more arrests are likely, sheriff’s Deputy Craig Chamberlin said. The regional property crimes task force has identified more than a dozen victims in the case, Chamberlin said.
Aaron J. Cunningham, 37, and Michael W. Belton, aka Michael W. Murray, 29, were both booked into the Spokane County Jail on Wednesday. They each face charges of second-degree theft, vehicle prowling and third-degree malicious mischief.
Man claims pipe is a gardening tool
A man arrested by Spokane Valley police late Tuesday said the methamphetamine pipe on the front seat of his car was a gardening tool used by his girlfriend.
Police received a call about a suspicious man in the Fred Meyer parking lot at Sprague Avenue and Sullivan Road at 10:30 p.m. Christopher Dahlman, 22, was sitting in his car and handed something to a man who rode up to him on a bike, according to a police news release.
When officers attempted to speak to Dahlman, he ran inside the store and left the store through an emergency exit before being found hiding under several shopping carts, police said. He reportedly told police he ran because he thought he had a warrant for his arrest.
The glass pipe that police said they found on Dahlman’s seat tested positive for meth, according to the release. Dahlman was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and obstructing a law enforcement officer.