Cpl. Ronald Van Tassel
Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 8:09 a.m.
The Spokane Police Department investigated an armed Robbery at the Mission and Hamilton Safeway on June 11th. A description of the suspect, along with video was provided to Officers. On June 13th an alert Officer located the suspect blocks away from the original crime and he was arrested.
On June 11th, 2018 Officers responded to the Safeway at the corner of Mission and Hamilton for a possible shoplift/Robbery call. Officers learned that a male had shoplifted from the store twice that same day and had gotten away both times. The male came back to the store for a third time later that same day to shoplift again. A female store employee confronted the male as he was attempting to steal merchandise again.
As the employee attempted to detain the male, he turned and hit her in the face. The male fled on foot and the employee followed him. The employee stated that she stopped following the male because he turned around and pointed a gun at her.
She was able to provide a description of the male, a directions of travel and a surveillance video of the incident. Officers were not able to locate the suspect the night of the incident.
On June 13th Ofc. Ryan Smith was patrolling the general area of the Safeway. As he drove by Mission Park he observed a male in the park that matched the description of the suspect from two days prior. Ofc Smith attempted to make contact with the male in the park, the male got onto his bicycle and attempted to ride away. Ofc Smith located the male several blocks away and he was attempting to conceal himself behind a large bush.
The male was identified as 20 year old Gunnar Kratcha. Ofc Smith located a realistic looking BB gun concealed in Kratcha’s clothing. Detectives responded to the scene to interview Kratcha. He was booked into Spokane County Jail for 1st degree armed Robbery.