Update: White Center, West Seattle serial-robbery suspect arrested; served time for 2 holdups in same area

Just got word that the Discount Smoke and Beverage armed robbery we covered two nights ago is indeed believed to be the work of the White Center serial robber first reported on partner site White Center Now – and that a suspect is now in custody in connection with the robbery spree, including both holdups at the 35th/Roxbury shop, and four in the unincorporated area. That’s the word from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West, who says the 49-year-old man was arrested last night in a trailer in the 11000 block of 18th SW. Here’s the list of robberies in which he’s suspected:

January 11th, the White Center Mini Mart in the 1500 blk of SW Roxbury,

January 13th, the Zip Market in the 10600 blk of 16 Ave SW,

January 30th, the 76 Gas Station in the 2800 blk of SW Roxbury,

February 1st, the Rainbow Mini Mart in the 11400 blk of 16 Ave SW,

the Discount Smoke Shop in Seattle Wednesday night and on January 21st

Sgt. West says search warrants were served this morning at the suspect’s house and “on a relative’s house in the 9700 blk of 32 Ave SW February 1st, and his vehicle.”

Reporting for WCN, we first learned, and reported, January 31st that a serial robber was at work in the area, after KCSO said a holdup the night before at the 76 station/mini-mart on the county side of 30th/Roxbury was at least the third one by what they believed to be the same suspect:

The surveillance photos at the top of this story were released by KCSO last week.

P.S. Sgt. West says the suspect was caught through work done by detectives from south-end Precinct 4 who were determined to crack the case and staked out some area convenience stores, looking for a specific vehicle believed to be linked to the robberies. Once they had a plate, they had a name, and their work on Wednesday night right after the 35th/Roxbury holdup made the connection and led to the arrest.

7:44 PM UPDATE: Looked up some background on the suspect, who we won’t identify until and unless he is charged. He admitted to holdups in August 2005 in the same area – at the same 76 station he allegedly robbed recently, and at the nearby 28th/Roxbury Shell. He was sentenced to 50- and 45-month prison terms, but the documents don’t indicate if they were concurrent. We’ll check Tuesday (Monday’s a holiday) on when he got out of prison.

14 Replies to "Update: White Center, West Seattle serial-robbery suspect arrested; served time for 2 holdups in same area"

  • Citizen Sane February 15, 2013 (4:47 pm)

    Enjoy the pen.

  • cjboffoli February 15, 2013 (5:00 pm)

    Nice detective work! Always great to hear when the bad guys are behind bars.

  • nemobeansmom February 15, 2013 (5:10 pm)

    HA HA!!! Glad he was caught.

    Just go get a job and work for a living like we all do.

  • Rvesdocs February 15, 2013 (6:49 pm)

    Yay!!! Caught!!!

  • anti-obstruction February 15, 2013 (6:55 pm)

    Thank you, law enforcement powers-that-be…great work.
    In spite of the bad press you’ve recently garnered, I guess I still basically believe the cops are decent folks, the majority of whom do their very tough job with integrity.

  • Alki Resident February 15, 2013 (7:43 pm)

    So how many felonies is it for five armed robberies? What is this guys name?

    • WSB February 15, 2013 (7:48 pm)

      I just added an update. We will not publish a name, as per our policy, until and unless he is charged. According to court records, he pleaded guilty to two holdups in 2005 on Roxbury – one at the 76 station held up in this case, one at the Shell. I won’t be able to find out till Tuesday how much time he actually served in prison … TR

  • Orca February 16, 2013 (6:42 am)

    Must be a rocket scientist….

    2005 two hold ups on Roxbury and now 5 more in about a mile area.

    Sounds like he needed a car or bus money to expand his range of evil doing.
    Losers never last long.

  • Come on February 16, 2013 (7:24 am)

    Aren’t armed robberies a strike felony? If so he’s looking at life.

  • Sillygoose February 16, 2013 (8:34 am)

    Great Job Detectives, I certainly hope the 3 strikes law applies to him and we never see the guy again, unless it is on the side of the road in a chaingang digging ditches!

  • WsEd February 16, 2013 (9:40 am)

    Great job KCSO. A professional force at work. This guy is nothing short of a genius robbing establishments within walking distance from I assume where he was couch surfing. Go back to the pen for some lifelong rehabilitation with that big brain.

  • Craig February 16, 2013 (10:57 am)

    A total of 6 armed robberies all within a couple miles radius is very telling. I’m not sure I would applaud law enforcement’s efforts here West Seattle. More importantly, I would question the community we live in that enabled this armed thug to continue his acts. What I mean simply is this: to continue such a string of armed robberies without being turned in or shot by a business owner defending their business says a lot about our unwillingness to be proactive and instead, pass these events off as someone else’s problem.

    Do we really think this guy will get life? I bet there’s an excuse for his willingness to hold us up at gunpoint and threaten our lives. Clearly the money we’ve paid to deter and rehabilitate these criminals is being wasted. Take responsibility for yourselves, protect and defend your homes, businesses and our community.

    Everyone can now throw their insults and express their feelings from the blog toward these “losers” and armed thugs as I describe them. But, unless we take action, our outcries will never deter or prevent this evil from happening again.

  • a February 16, 2013 (4:44 pm)

    Craig-though I agree with the right to protect and defend yourself, I think your view that everyone should be strapped to defend themselves is quite paranoid and absurd. Someone with a gun with bad intentions is scary enough. Bring another person with a gun into the situation and you have a disaster waiting to happen. These robbers aren’t looking to kill the people they are robbing. They are probably just crackheads looking for a quick buck. Store owner pulls out gun and crackhead may kill him. Store owner follows the demands of crackhead, store owner lives to see another day. Store owner may kill crackhead which would be good since there would be one less idiot in society but now store owner has to live with knowing they took a life even if it’s a pathetic life. If there is a crazy person with a gun bringing out another gun only escalates things and a robbery turns into someone being killed. I’ll take my chances with letting the robber get what he wants and letting the police be the ones to pull guns on this idiot.

  • phil dirt February 17, 2013 (4:52 pm)

    a-, says, “Craig-though I agree with the right to protect and defend yourself, I think your view that everyone should be strapped to defend themselves is quite paranoid and absurd.”

    Don’t “strap” yourself then. but the more legally “strapped” citizens there are the fewer robberies there will be. Have you ever wondered why there are never any robberies at gun shows? An armed society is a polite society.

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