By Scott North Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — A robbery that ended in gunfire here Feb. 25 allegedly was planned in part to get at a small safe said to contain drugs and cash, according to police reports.
An Arlington man, 32, was arrested early Monday and jailed for investigation of first-degree robbery and kidnapping, said Shari Ireton, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Also in custody at an area hospital is a 33-year-old man who was shot while reportedly trying to leave with duffle bags that contained property taken from the home, including the safe.
Both men are believed to be part of a group that showed up at the home in the 700 block of 126th Drive NE, northeast of Lake Stevens.
Detectives say the homeowner eventually admitted selling drugs. After the shooting, he retrieved the safe from a duffle bag the wounded man dropped, and returned it to the house, according to police reports.
The safe was seized as part of the investigation.
The homeowner and a friend told deputies they were in a metal shop near the house when they were confronted by gunmen wearing bandanas over their faces.
They were ordered to the ground and relieved of their wallets and phones. Both were bound with zip ties and duct tape and told they would be shot if they tried to leave.
The homeowner was able to wriggle out of his bonds and free his friend. They slipped out of the shop when they heard a car pull away.
The pair realized somebody still was inside the house. The homeowner’s friend said he broke out a window on his own car to get his 9mm handgun. He then fired a couple of shots toward the ground as a warning to the intruder, detectives were told.
There was a confrontation a short time later with shots fired as the man was spotted leaving the house carrying duffle bags in both hands, according to police reports.
The homeowner’s friend said he fired at least one warning shot aimed at the suspect’s “rear end.” He fired up to four additional shots, reportedly trying to get the thief to stop, not kill him.
The 33-year-old man dropped with a gunshot wound. He reportedly tried to convince the homeowner not to call police.
When deputies arrived, the wounded man claimed he was at the home trying to help a friend recover property, and wasn’t involved in the robbery that occurred inside the shop.
The investigation led to other people who admitted being at the home that night, including the Arlington man. Detectives believe he drove people to the scene. They say he also is on store surveillance cameras buying duct tape and gloves.
The Arlington man said he drove away from the house, leaving others behind, after becoming scared by what was happening there, according to police reports.
Additional arrests are expected.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org.