SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have arrested two people in connection with the robbery of the Cenex Zip Trip at Royal Drive and 9 Mile Road early Tuesday morning.
The suspect robbed the convenience store at 2:20 a.m. and took a cash box from the premises.
K-9 Leo was called to the scene and was able to track the suspect to a garage about a block away from the store. Police surrounded and searched the garage and while they did not find the suspect but did find both the cash box and a rifle. The only description information available early on was that the suspect was wearing a leopard print shirt, white pants and a hat.
"K-9 responded and tracked the suspect to a nearby house and right now we believe we have the suspect contained and we'll go from there," Sergeant Kevin King with the Spokane Police Department said.
One of the first signs the holdup was a bit of theatrics was the young suspect's leopard print blouse. Another clue this robbery was fake the fact that the gunman was armed with a very hard to conceal rifle.
Spokane Police Major Crimes detectives at the house that Leo tracked the suspect to were able to execute a search warrant at the home. When they questioned a 13-year-old living at the residence he confessed the holdup was an inside job.
"We contacted the person that we believed was the suspect in the robbery and after we talked to him we learned this was more of a set up where he had made a plan with the clerk to stage a robbery," Sergeant Mark Griffiths said.
The 13-year-old robbery suspect was arrested, as was Robert Swan, the Zip Trip clerk who was on duty at the time of the robbery attempt.
Detectives say that Swan and the teen suspect set up the robbery. The suspect, according to police, entered the store, demanded money from Swan and fled from the store on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The investigation, and interviews with both Swan and the suspect, confirmed the set up to rob the store.
Police don't know if Swan put off making his money drops in the safe to make the robbery more profitable. While they got the people they believe were responsible, authorities were frustrated with the amount of resources that were used to capture the suspects.
"It is frustrating. We wasted a lot of resources last night, setting up perimeters, a K9 track, called out Major Crimes detectives, interviewed people involved and for it to be what it is it certainly is a waste of resources," Sergeant Griffiths said.
Swan was arrested on 1st Degree Burglary, Criminal Conspiracy and Making a False Report and was booked into the Spokane County Jail. His 13-year-old accomplice was booked into Juvenile Detention on a 1st Degree Burglary charge.
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