Port Townsend police seek customer threatened in Safeway robbery

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Police were seeking Tuesday a witness who was allegedly threatened by a teenager with a knife after a Thursday armed robbery at the Safeway store.

Police reported that at 11:30 a.m., two men in black clothing and masks entered the north doors of the store at 442 W. Sims Way.

Apprehended Sunday, the two were identified by police as a 14-year-old and a 15-year-old, both students at Port Townsend High School.

The names have not been released because they are juveniles, police said.

After their arrests, the 15-year-old was remanded to the custody of his parents, and the 14-year-old was sent to the Kitsap Youth Center in Port Orchard.

The 14-year-old will be charged with burglary in the third degree and robbery in the first degree as he allegedly had the knife, according to Jefferson County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Brotherton.

The 15-year-old will face accomplice to robbery and burglary charges, Brotherton said.

He expects both to make court appearances sometime next week.

During the robbery, both teens appeared to be wearing fencing masks, which turned out to be black cloth stretched underneath hoodie sweatshirts, police determined during interviews.

According to police, the 15-year-old ran toward the produce department and checkout aisles, something that police later decided had been a diversion from the other teen, also wearing a dark-black mask pulled tightly to his face, who ran toward the liquor section of the business, stole a bottle of liquor and ran back toward the north door.

A store manager attempted to block the second teen’s exit with a shopping cart.

The teen brandished a knife, and the manager moved out of the way, police said.

Then, an unidentified customer attempted to stop the fleeing teenager and was himself threatened with a knife, police said.

Police hope to talk with that customer and are asking the person to come forward to be identified and interviewed.

“The Police Department recognizes the difficulty of solving these types of cases without community involvement and is grateful for the help from community members who were willing to come forward and assist with this serious crime,” police said in a news release.

Anyone with information is asked to phone 360-379-4438.


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 08. 2014 6:37PM
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