Man charged with pair of robberies after admitting to crimes

A 27-year-old man suspected of holding up two Subway sandwich shops is in the Pierce County Jail, charged with three counts of first-degree robbery.

Tacoma police arrested Richard T. Lee, 27, on Tuesday. Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf at a Wednesday arraignment. He’s jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Prosecutors have charged Lee with robbing different Subway stores July 11 and Aug. 4 and a shop employee during the July 11 heist.

The first robbery was at the shop at 8638 Pacific Ave.

An employee told officers a man entered the store just before 3:30 p.m., court documents state. He pointed a gun at the employee and demanded money and access to the store’s safe. The employee didn’t have access to the safe, court documents state.

The gunman took the employee’s personal cell phone and put the employee in the restroom and closed the door. The robber then fled.

Investigators reviewed surveillance footage of the robbery and made a flier to alert patrol officers. The flier included a description of the suspect and his getaway vehicle.

Prosecutors say Lee robbed the Subway at 8415 S. Hosmer St. just after 9 a.m. Aug. 4.

An employee told Tacoma police a man she recognized as a previous customer came in and loitered around.

He eventually went to the counter, pulled out a gun and demanded money from the cash register. The employee handed over money, court documents state.

The robber fled after telling the employee to stay in a restroom for five minutes.

On Tuesday, officers were called to another Subway on Center Street because a manager was involved in a domestic dispute with Lee, her boyfriend, court documents state.

Officers learned he arrived at the sandwich shop in a car similar to the vehicle used in the July 11 robbery. Lee also matched the description of the robber from the July 11 and Aug. 4 heists, court documents state.

Officers arrested Lee.

He admitted to the two robberies and said he had a BB gun each time, court records show.

Lee allegedly said he needed money for his family and was high on “PCP” during the crimes, court documents state.