Witnesses help police find home-invasion suspects

West Olympia: Victim had recently hired man to work in her yard

jpawloski@theolympian.comNovember 6, 2012 

Olympia police have arrested a 19-year-old man and a juvenile in connection with a home-invasion robbery Halloween night in which a suspect wearing a ski mask and wielding a butcher knife demanded money from a terrified victim in a bedroom, court papers state.

The 19-year-old was identified as a suspect after the victim told police that she had recently hired him to do yard work at her home in the 1600 block of Scammell Avenue on Olympia’s west side, court papers state.

Two witnesses told police that the 19-year-old had admitted to them that he had burglarized the woman’s home and robbed her. “One witness came forward out of concern for the victim, but both have safety and retribution concerns should their identity be immediately released,” reads a police report.

According to court papers:

The 19-year-old was being held Monday at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. The juvenile was being held at the Thurston County Juvenile Jail on suspicion of the same charges.

The 19-year-old was located by Olympia police at a friend’s residence Saturday. He admitted to entering the residence on Halloween night through a sliding glass door in the basement. He said the juvenile entered the home with him and that they began looking for money. He said the juvenile took about $30 from the homeowner’s purse.

The 19-year-old said he grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and entered an unoccupied bedroom. He said he put the butcher knife down on the ground when a woman entered the bedroom. He admitted that he demanded she give him all of her money. He “denied demanding the woman give him money with the knife in his hand.” He admitted, however, that he “picked up a wooden elephant statue in an effort to intimidate her.”

When police located the juvenile Saturday, he also admitted to involvement in the robbery. He said he and the 19-year-old drank alcohol before the robbery. He said the 19-year-old told him they should rob an elderly lady he believed was “loaded.”

The juvenile denied knowing that the 19-year-old had picked up a knife during the robbery.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympian.com

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