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man arrested for two armed robberies in Tacoma, under investigation – KIRO 7 News Seattle

By on April 28, 2022 0

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — A man charged with two armed robberies and being investigated for more than 12 others in Tacoma was in court Wednesday.

David Wenzel, 31, has pleaded not guilty to charges of armed robbery at a Walgreens at 4315 Sixth Ave. on April 13 and at AgriShop Tacoma Ace Hardware at 2012 S. 12th Street on March 3.

Wenzel was arrested Tuesday after being involved in a hit-and-run in the 700 block of Tacoma Avenue. Upon his arrest, officers recognized him as a wanted suspect for both robberies.

Nicole Jones, assistant manager at AgriShop Tacoma Ace Hardware, said her family had owned the store since 1986. She said the store had dealt with crime over the years, but this incident was its first robbery. army.

“I think that was probably the scariest thing,” Jones said Wednesday. “We were here in the height of the 80s, when there was a lot of really bad stuff going on in the neighborhood. We never once thought of something like (this) happening here.

Jones said Wenzel walked into the store without responding to workers’ greetings, then walked around the store. Jones said she and another employee approached Wenzel, who said he was looking for spray paint.

Alexandra “Alex” Kepl was working at the cash register when Wenzel approached her and another cashier.

“He grabs a bottle (of spray paint), brings it to the register and sits it down,” Kepl said. “Just when he’s been totaled, he pulls his belt back up.”

Court documents show Wenzel brandished a black semi-automatic handgun before leaving with about $137 and a can of spray paint.

“I even told him straight to his face, I said, ‘You’re wasting your time, man. It’s not worth the shot.’ He still came out with it,” Kepl said.

About a month later, Wenzel was identified as the suspect in an armed robbery at a nearby Walgreens. Wenzel brandished a black handgun before taking $1,500 in cash, according to court documents. The documents also show that the money Wenzel took contained a tracking device.

AgriShop Tacoma employees said Wenzel’s arrest gave them hope for the future.

“We really appreciate the work done by TPD. They stayed here for over an hour after the incident, searching for fingerprints and evidence. … I hate to say it because something drove (Wenzel) in life for this to happen, but we’re happy to get justice,” Jones said. “It’s a nice community here. We want it to thrive. And we are happy that hopefully things will improve in the future.

On Wednesday, a judge set Wenzel’s bail at $50,000. He is due back in court on May 27.