Tumwater police arrest suspect in armed robbery of Walmart

Staff writerNovember 12, 2013 

Tumwater police arrested a man in Centralia Sunday on suspicion of committing an armed robbery of the Tumwater Walmart on Littlerock Road on the night of Oct. 31.

During a court hearing Tuesday, Thurston County Superior Court Judge James Dixon ordered Jordan Yocom, 30, held at the Thurston County jail Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

Tumwater police were dispatched to the Walmart about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 after a store employee reported the armed robbery.

During the robbery, the suspect tried to exit the Walmart with a shopping cart full of goods he had not paid for. When a security guard and an assistant manager tried to confront the man, he produced a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at both of them, Tumwater Police Detective Jen Kolb said.

The suspect then exited the store, pushing the cart of stolen goods to a waiting car. The suspect got in the passenger seat of the car and it sped away before police arrived.

Tumwater police identified Yocom as a suspect after police obtained surveillance footage from the Walmart parking lot showing the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle, court papers state.

Police contacted the registered owner of the vehicle, and he identified Yocom as the person who had taken the merchandise from Walmart. The owner of the vehicle said he was driving the car at the time of the robbery, but said he did not know that Yocom had committed a robbery, Tumwater Police Lt. Jay Mason said.

Mason said Tumwater detectives do not have probable cause to believe that the driver committed a crime, so he was not arrested or charged with a crime.

Centralia police contacted Tumater detectives on Sunday and told them they had located Yocom at a travel trailer on Rose Street. Tumwater detectives subsequently picked Yocom up there and placed him under arrest. Yocom confessed to the robbery, and said he had used a BB gun he had stolen from the Walmart to commit the robbery, court papers state.

Yocom said he threw the BB gun into some bushes after exiting the Walmart, according to court papers. Tumwater police have been unable to locate it, court papers state.

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

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