Armed robberies in Pierce County up 71% since 2017

On Sunday, two suspects entered Lake Tapps Deli and pointed guns at the clerk and threatened to shoot. They leave with the money, the store keys, and the clerk’s wallet.

TACOMA, Wash. – Lake Tapps Deli on Forest Canyon Road was the site of an armed robbery in Pierce County on Sunday.

Michele Haney had only been working at the fast food restaurant for three months and was shocked to learn what had happened to her colleague.

“I didn’t know what I would do in a similar situation, and she was a very calm, strict person… I just didn’t know what I would do,” Haney said.

Surveillance video from the incident shows two male suspects entering the store and immediately pulling out a gun and pointing it at the clerk. They demanded money and threatened to shoot her.

When the clerk transferred the money to him, the second suspect stepped behind the counter. Investigators from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) said they were trying to open the safe.

Moments later, the two suspects ran out of the store with cash, store keys and the clerk’s wallet.

Sgt. Darren Moss of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said armed robberies rose 71 percent last year compared to the five-year average.

“Just so you can think about it, 5% is a big increase. We’re getting a 71% increase for armed robberies, which are very, very violent crimes,” Moss said.

And Moss says the perpetrators of these types of violent crimes are getting younger and younger.

“They steal people’s guns, they shoot each other, they participate in murders, they are victims of murders, they steal cars, they are being chased by the police,” Moss said. “It would be troublesome if we had young people committing all these crimes.”

Haney said the fast food restaurant is taking steps to upgrade security, such as installing more cameras, changing locks and having security guards patrol the area.

She says there’s a deeper problem going on that can’t be easily fixed.

“People are getting nice to it, and it’s another day in America and seriously, I feel like crying,” she said, fighting back tears. “Life is no longer precious, people don’t care.” Armed robberies in Pierce County up 71% since 2017

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