‘Is this a joke?’ Robbers used BB gun to hit coffee stands
SPOKANE, Wash. — Armed with a realistic looking BB gun, robbers hit two coffee stands within hours of each other to feed a drug habit Tuesday.
The robberies happened between noon and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, with police making quick arrests following the second robbery.
According to court documents, the three men involved in these crimes admitted to being addicted to prescription pills, using money from the first robbery to buy and smoke Oxycodone before heading back out in search of another coffee stand to rob.
Police say 24-year-old Andrew Stepak walked up to Hot Toddy’s coffee stand, pointed a realistic BB gun at the barista and demanded cash.
From there police say Stepak, Nathan Levasseur and Michael Rhodes drove to Spokane Valley to buy Oxycodone. After smoking the pills, Stepak and Levasseur decided to rob another coffee stand, this time targeting Brews Bros on Sinto and Ruby.
“Obviously there is some desperation there. If you’re going from one coffee stand robbery to the next one in less than two hours there’s desperation there and things have a tendency to escalate when people get desperate. So it was priority for us to get these people in custody and we did,” said Spokane Police officer Teresa Fuller.
It took police just four minutes to track down the trio. Even with surveillance video from both stands police say descriptions of the robber and vehicle played a key role. They encourage every robbery victim to cooperate with the crooks and stay alert.
“Be the best witness that you can be. Get as much of a description as you can for us and that will help us follow up on these crimes,” said Officer Fuller.
The barista at Brews Bros. actually called out Stepak for using a fake gun asking him, “Is this a joke?”
Police say they are also looking into the possibility that these men may be linked to the Baskin Robbins robbery on the South Hill earlier in the week.
Stepak and Levasseur are facing charges of first degree robbery and first degree attempted robbery. Rhodes was listed as a witness in police reports and picked up on an active Department of Corrections warrant.
Stepak and Levasseur are being held on $75,000 bail in the Spokane County Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned later this month.