A 21-year-old Pasco man reportedly told police he robbed a Pasco convenience store early Friday because he needed money for his drug habit, authorities said.
Angus M. Tate was arrested about 30 minutes after the early-morning robbery at Mr. Qwik's gas station, 2519 W. Court St., in Pasco.
He made an initial appearance in Franklin County Superior Court on Friday afternoon, where he was ordered held for investigation of first-degree robbery.
His bail was set at $50,000.
"I was very cooperative with the officers involved and I have lived here my whole life," Tate told Judge Robert Swisher. "I wouldn't really have an opportunity to jump bail if I wanted to, but it's your decision."
Swisher agreed to follow the prosecutor's bail request, saying "a handgun crime warrants that."
Tate is accused of going to Mr. Qwik's at 12:36 a.m., pointing a silver automatic handgun at the clerk and demanding all the money, court documents said.
The clerk, Jose Torres, reported the suspect had driven off in a white van and had a partial Washington license plate number of AEA720, documents said.
Torres said the suspect took off after he ran into the office and yelled that he was calling police.
The suspect was described as being thin, 5-foot-10, wearing black baseball hat, black leather jacket, black pants, black leather gloves and a white mask.
About 1 a.m., Pasco police Sgt. Jamie Raebel spotted a white van with Washington plate AEA7201 at 224 S. 24th St. and several officers arrived and surrounded the home.
Using a patrol car's public address system, officers ordered him to exit, documents said.
Seconds later, Tate walked out of the home and was detained. He matched the physical and clothing description given by the clerk, documents said.
Officers determined the plates on the van had been stolen from another vehicle and Tate was in the process of removing the plates and putting on the legitimate plates, documents said.
Tate allegedly told officers he used a blue surgical mask, brown leather gloves and a handgun during the robbery.
He also told officers where to find the items, and the loaded Colt .32-caliber gun was found in a cardboard box under the desk inside the house, documents said.
The surgical mask was found in the trash can, where Tate said he left it, documents said.
Prosecutors have until Tuesday to charge or release Tate. If charged, he will be back in court May 29.
Defense attorney Karla Kane was appointed to represent him. Judge Swisher told Tate his attorney could request a bail reduction at the next hearing.
Pasco man arrested in scheme to steal gas
A 33-year-old Pasco man is accused of being involved in a scheme to steal several hundred gallons of gas to fill a tank on an Eltopia farm.
Christopher Hernandez was arrested Thursday by Franklin County sheriff's detectives after they set up surveillance on the Connell Grange fuel truck.
Hernandez made an initial appearance Friday in Franklin County Superior Court, where Judge Robert Swisher found cause to hold Hernandez for investigation of first-degree theft.
Deputy Prosecutor Tim Dickerson requested $5,000 bail, saying "there was a large amount of money stolen" and noting that Hernandez had a prior bail jumping charge.
Defense attorney Larry Stephenson said his client has lived in the Tri-Cities all his live and was going to Charter College and supposed to graduate in June.
"I'm convinced we have nothing to be concerned about. This man's not a threat to leave the area," he said.
Stephenson said $1,500 bail would be sufficient, but Swisher set it at $2,500 because of the prior bail jumping.
According to court documents, sheriff's detectives began investigating the fuel theft on May 7 after Connell Grange owners reported the theft.
They said they suspected the fuel delivery driver, Jerry Burke, was shorting customers fuel and selling fuel from the company truck for cash, documents said.
A GPS system put on the truck by the company was monitored from April 18 to May 4 and reportedly showed Burke deviating from his route several times and stopping at a farm on Eltopia West Road.
Investigators contacted Burke, and he admitted selling fuel from the truck to several people, including Hernandez and his father, David, documents said.
David Hernandez owned the tank at the Eltopia West farm, and Burke said had an agreement with Hernandez to fill a 100-gallon tank and a 200-gallon tank with unleaded gas, documents said.
Burke also said he would sometimes meet Christopher or David at a prearranged location and fill a 150-gallon tank in the back of David Hernandez's pickup, documents said.
More than $1,800 worth of fuel had been sold by Burke during the time the company had tracked it with the GPS unit, documents said.
Burke told detectives he wanted to take responsibility for his part in the theft and agreed to cooperate with their investigation.
Grange Management agreed to keep Burke on the payroll while he was working with the sheriff's office.
On Wednesday, Burke called detectives and said David Hernandez had called and asked him to meet his son to get some fuel, documents said.
They agreed to meet at 1:15 p.m. Thursday on Hendricks Road, west of Sagehill.
Deputies set up surveillance and watched Christopher Hernandez arrive at 1:50 p.m. Hernandez pulled up next to the Grange fuel truck and Burke put the fuel hose into the 150-gallon tank in the back of Hernandez's truck, documents said.
About 136 gallons of unleaded fuel was deposited into the tank on Hernandez's truck, documents said.
When arrested, Hernandez reportedly told investigators that his father sent him to get the fuel.
Duo arrested after items taken from apartment
A Pasco couple were arrested Thursday by Pasco police after reportedly breaking into an apartment and stealing a TV, all the dishes and pots and pans and some clothes.
Justin D. Sullivan, 34, and Kathryn Marie Gieger, 40, were booked into the Franklin County jail on suspicion of residential burglary.
Both made initial appearances Friday in Superior Court. Sullivan's bail was set at $20,000, while Gieger's was $5,000. Prosecutors had requested $10,000 bail for Gieger, but Judge Robert Swisher cut it in half.
The couple are accused of going to an apartment at 2416 W. Octave St. and stealing items from the 29-year-old woman who lives there.
A neighbor told police she said Gieger with a man and another woman load up items into a green Chevy Blazer around 1:30 p.m., but the neighbor said she didn't know they weren't supposed to be there.
The resident returned home at 5 p.m. and found her 57-inch TV, all the dishes, cups, pots and pans from the kitchen, along with clothes and shoes from the bedroom, documents said.
Some billing paperwork was taken from a kitchen drawer, along with a purse with Social Security cards and birth certificates and soaps and shampoo from the bathroom, documents said.
A blue plastic garbage can from the bathroom and drawers from a bedroom desk also were missing. The desk apparently had been carried outside, but was left by the front door. The mattress also had been turned onto its side as if it was to be carried out of the room.
The apartment manager told officers that Gieger had lived in the apartment but moved out in March, documents said.
She also said Gieger had been stopping by wanting to take things from the apartment, but the manager said Gieger had no belongings in the unit.
Gieger's vehicle was found at the Airport Motel and officers were told she was staying in room 29. Officers told her she was under arrest for residential burglary, and she immediately said the items she took belonged to her, documents said.
As officers were reading Gieger her rights, a man, later identified as Sullivan, jumped from the second floor balcony and tried to run away.
Officers were able to catch him. Sullivan told officers that he had only gone with Gieger because she said she needed help moving some things. Sullivan said he'd been staying with Gieger off and on, and he didn't know the items didn't belong to her, documents said.
Gieger could not tell police where she took the items, documents said.
Gieger listed the Airport Motel as her address in court documents. Sullivan said he was staying at the Sage-N-Sun motel.