Three men are now charged in what’s been dubbed the “My Gun’s Bigger” robbery attempt at Highland Park’s Morning Star Market. Seattle Police announced the arrests on November 26th, three days after the clerk scared the would-be robbers away, and we got word of the charges today. Read on for the story they tell:
Court documents say 27-year-old Fernando Quebrado and 21-year-old Francisco Dominguez-Rodriguez went into the store just before 10 pm Saturday, November 23rd, “armed with semi-automatic pistols,” while 28-year-old Aristides Padilla-Mejia sat outside in a white Ford Explorer “with the motor running and duct tape over logos on the side of the vehicle as well as over the license plate.”
In the store, according to the documents’ narrative, Quebrado pointed his gun at the clerk and said, “This is a robbery. Give me the money,” with Dominguez-Rodriguez keeping watch at the door. The clerk “saw that Quebrado had a pistol aimed at him and proceeded to laugh at Quebrado and said, ‘My gun’s bigger’.” He reached for said gun and, the narrative continues, “both (suspects) saw that the victim was not joking,” then turned and ran out to the getaway vehicle, yelling at Padilla-Mejia to “get out of here,” which he is reported to have obliged, peeling out of the market’s lot at high speed. The store’s surveillance cameras apparently recorded both the robbery attempt and the getaway SUV.
The documents continue with the backstory on another charge filed against Dominguez-Rodriguez and Padilla-Mejia, for a South King County robbery the next night. They are accused of using the Explorer – which belongs to Padilla-Mejia’s mother – to run an Auburn barista off the road after she left work, subsequently robbing her on the roadside at gunpoint. Deputies responding to a call about that robbery found the Explorer crashed and abandoned, with that victim’s purse inside as well as a gun. They matched the vehicle to a law-enforcement bulletin sent out about the Morning Star Market holdup attempt. A ground and air search followed; no one was found, but the next day, a nearby resident called police after “three suspicious people” knocked on his door saying they needed water for their disabled car. Those three people turned out to be the two suspects and a pregnant woman (who was apparently a passenger in the Explorer at the time of the South King County robbery and is not charged in the case). The two men were found and arrested, and the investigation led detectives to arrest Quebrado.
All three men are charged with attempted first-degree robbery for the Highland Park incident; the two arrested after the South King County stickup are charged with first-degree robbery for that one, too. Padilla-Mejia, under his alias José Luis Vargus, is jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail; same bail was set for Dominguez-Rodriguez, under his alternate surname Dominguez-Ramirez; $100,000 is the bail amount for Quebrado. They’re all due back in court for arraignment on December 12th.