Thursday, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged James Jamal Robinson, 19, Darion Anthony Tilley, 20, and Javohn Lee Smith, 17, with three counts of robbery in the first degree, and one count of attempted robbery in the first degree for allegedly robbing multiple Tacoma businesses earlier this week.
The defendants were arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $250,000.
“We are thankful the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department put a quick end to this violent crime spree before anyone was seriously hurt,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “We will vigorously prosecute these individuals and hold them accountable.”
According to the prosecution’s narrative, on April 8, at about 5:20 a.m., the defendants robbed a 7-Eleven store at 9517 South Steele Street. Two defendants entered the store, pointing a gun at the clerk and a customer. The defendants left the store after stealing cash from the register and items off the shelves.
About fifteen minutes later, the defendants robbed a Walgreens at 15225 Pacific Avenue South. One of the defendants approached an employee with a gun and demanded, “open up all the registers…give me the money.” He hit her in the head, then threatened to shoot her. The victim hit the security button, and the defendant fled without the cash.
At approximately 5:56 a.m., the defendants robbed Bikini Bottoms Espresso in the 7900 block of 176th Street East. One of the defendants stood outside the espresso stand and pointed a gun at the victim through the drive through window and demanded money. He fled with the money from the cash register in a vehicle.
At about 6:20 a.m., the defendants robbed another 7-Eleven store at 15202 Meridian East. Two defendants entered the store, pointed guns at the clerk and a customer. They demanded the clerk empty her cash register. She complied. They fled with the money from the cash register.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department responded, and spotted the suspect vehicle shortly after 6:20 a.m. Deputies stopped the defendants. Tilley had $914, Robinson had $545, and Smith had $535. A BB gun and .38 revolver were found in the car. The defendants were arrested and booked into the Pierce County Jail.
In addition to the charges arising out of the April 8 robberies, Tilley and Robinson were charged with Robbery in the First Degree for a robbery on March 16. Robinson was also charged with Robbery in the First Degree for a robbery on March 15.
Investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming. Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.