YAKIMA, WA — (04-25-23) — Yakima police have confirmed that they have arrested the knife wielding adult novelty store suspect who they believe is responsible for several armed robberies over the past six months.

In both instances, police say that the suspect forced an employee at the Eve’s Garden located at 605 W Lincoln Ave, to hand over money at knifepoint, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Back on Sept 15, 2022,  the first armed robbery took place around 7:35 p.m., when a man came in with a knife and told the adult novelty store employee she had three seconds to give him the money, states the affidavit.

Even though Eve’s Garden’ surveillance video caught the suspect going to the store and fleeing afterward, detectives were unable to identify him at the time.

However detectives got a huge break in the case  when the popular adult novelty store was robbed again around 7:45 p.m. on April 2, 2023.  Once again the male suspect came into the store, pulled a knife out and told the employee that she had three seconds to hand over the money, states the affidavit.

The pleasure product store owner posted a surveillance video picture of the suspect on her Facebook page, and the store employee who was robbed in September said it was the same man, the affidavit said.

Police were able to identify the suspect and found shoes during a search of his North First Street motel room that matched those worn by the armed robbery suspect in the surveillance footage from both robberies, states the affidavit.

Yakima County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Soukup said during the suspect’s preliminary hearing,  that the man has a conviction for second-degree rape.  Soukup recommended $100,000 bail.

Defense attorney Beth Wehrkamp however countered by saying that her client has developmental disabilities and he had an alibi during the crimes in question. She asked that the bail be set at no more than $10,000. Yakima County Superior Court Judge Elisabeth Tutsch set bail at $50,000.

Article by: Andy Powell, Staff Writer

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