Points for the Citizens' Assist on Robbery Arrest

Cpl. Ron VanTassel

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 11:15 p.m.

Neighbors in the Cannon park area band together to help Spokane Police corral a Robbery suspect.

On June 26th, just after 6:15pm, Spokane Police responded to the Sunset Grocery store for a Robbery call. Witnesses stated that a male came into the location with a shirt wrapped around his face. He had some kind of pointed weapon in his hands. He ordered the employee’s back and the male attempted to grab money from behind the counter.

A citizen inside the store approached the suspect and punched him. The suspect fled out of the store and then west bound down an alleyway. The employee at the store was able to provide an excellent description of the suspect.

Several blocks to the west an alert neighbor witnessed a male in the back yard of a residence. When confronted, the male fled into another backyard. Another alert neighbor went out and around the block to see if the male was going to cross the street or not.

When Officers arrived to that location they learned the description was the same as the Robbery suspect at the Sunset Grocery. Because one of the neighbors was able to confirm that the suspect did not cross certain streets, Officers were able to concentrate the search in a specific area.

Minutes later Officers were able to locate and detain 43 year old Stephen Swezey, who was hiding on the back porch of a residence. Swezey was later booked into jail for Robbery.

This is a great time to remind people that even in your own backyards, keep doors and window’s locked. It is believed that Swezey attempted to open several doors while he was fleeing in back yards.

We would like to thank the numerous neighbors for their assistance in tracking down this Robbery suspect. As much as we appreciate the help, please remember that these people are in an altered state of mind and are extremely desperate to get away. It was awesome work by the neighbors to just keep an eye out for where the suspect was or was not going so Officers had a better idea of where to look.

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