Spokane Police prevent robbery and arrest suspect

Monique Cotton, Communications Director, 509.363.8285

Friday, December 27, 2013 at 9 a.m.

Incident #: 13-429643

Spokane Police arrest 28-year-old Justin C. Werle (a convicted felon) for attempted robbery of the Sunset Grocery. When he was arrested, officers located a sawed-off shotgun in Werle’s jacket pocket. Werle was arrested and booked into jail on charges of Attempted First Degree Armed Robbery, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

Through intelligence gathering, quick response and detailed follow-up, Spokane Police officers were able to prevent an armed robbery and potential harm to citizens.

Last night around 6:30 p.m., Spokane Police officers responded to a report of a person with a weapon near Sunset Grocery (1908 W Sunset Blvd). While patrolling, officers saw a person matching the suspect’s description walk into Sunset Grocery. As they approached the individual, officers noted that the suspect had his hand under his coat as if he was holding something, possibly a weapon. Officers approached the man inside the store just as he was walking up to the checkout counter. The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Justin C. Werle (a convicted felon), was detained without incident. Officers discovered a sawed-off shotgun under his coat. It is against the law for a convicted felon to possess a firearm. Additionally, the shotgun had been modified and it is unlawful to possess a firearm with this modification.

Werle was arrested on charges of Attempted First Degree Armed Robbery, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. After Werle was arrested and in a patrol car, he became extremely combative, hitting his head and legs against the car doors and windows. Officers were able to quickly and safely place Werle in leg restraints in order to keep him from injuring himself or others.

Spokane Police Major Crimes Detectives are investigating to determine a connection, if any, between Werle and other robberies at the Sunset Grocery. This investigation will be ongoing.

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