BELLINGHAM - Shoplifters trying to swipe alcohol from two Bellingham Haggen stores face charges of robbery for pulling weapons on employees Tuesday, Feb. 26, police said.
Early in the afternoon, a 43-year-old man grabbed a bottle of liquor worth $13 and walked out of the Fairhaven Haggen, 1401 12th St. A security guard stopped the man in the parking lot. The thief warned the security guard he had a knife, then whipped out a black folding knife with a 3-inch blade, said Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young.
The guard wrestled the weapon away. Police arrived to find the man - identified as Ryan Miguel Thompson, 43, of the Kendall area - getting put into handcuffs, Young said.
Officers found out he was wanted in another shoplifting case: Prosecutors alleged in late June 2012, Thompson punched an employee of the Barkley Haggen, 2900 Woburn St., while trying to steal some sandwiches and a bottle of scotch.
On Tuesday, he was booked into jail on suspicion of robbery in the first degree.
Three hours later, a man and a woman walked into the Sehome Haggen, 210 32nd St., and strode to the liquor aisle. Employees saw the woman point at a $99 bottle of whiskey. Then the man grabbed it, and they headed for the door, Young said. Two workers tried to stop them. But the man swung his fists at them and flashed what looked like a knife (it turned out to be a small metal pipe), according to police. The suspects fled.
Within minutes, however, the woman was arrested in the area. Police tracked the man to a room in the Aloha Motel, 315 N. Samish Way. They spotted him clambering through a back window and chased him down, Young said.
Henry Lee Jackson IV, 27, and Amanda Lynn Vanbeek, 27, both face charges of first-degree robbery and obstructing law enforcement.