Man arrested on suspicion of stealing beer, waving knife at Lakeway Drive 7-Eleven

Police on Friday arrested a man suspected of robbing a 7-Eleven while armed with a knife Thursday night, a Bellingham police spokesman said.

Edward Francis Waller, 29, of Bellingham was booked into the Whatcom County Jail about 9:30 p.m. Friday on suspicion of first-degree robbery and third-degree theft, said Sgt. Mark Stokes.

The arrest stemmed from a robbery reported Thursday night at the 7-Eleven at 1300 Lakeway Drive. A 911 caller reported a man had come into the store to buy beer, Stokes said. The man could not provide ID when the cashier asked, and was said to have walked out the door with the carton of beer.

An employee and a customer followed the man into the parking lot, Stokes said. The man then was reported to have pulled a knife out of his pocket and waved it at them.

When police arrived, witnesses said, the man had run behind the store toward the Hideaway Apartments.

On Friday evening, officers responded to a call just before 9 p.m. about a suspicious man, later identified as Waller, sitting on a porch outside a home along the 2200 block of Yew Street, Stokes said. The home’s resident did not know Waller and reportedly felt unsafe with him sitting on the porch.

When officers arrived, Stokes said, they thought he resembled the man in the surveillance tapes from the 7-Eleven; his clothing matched. Waller stood on the porch holding a bag with what Stokes said looked like a knife with a fixed blade inside.

One of the officers asked Waller to step down from the porch and come talk, Stokes said, but Waller just stared back at them. The officer told Waller several times to step away from the porch, but he didn’t move. Eventually, the officer drew his Taser and told Waller the officer would use it if he didn’t comply.

Waller complied and was handcuffed without further incident, Stokes said.

During a search, officers found and confiscated a knife, Stokes said. They also found an empty sheath attached to Waller’s waistband and, in the bag, a pipe that officers said is commonly used for smoking methamphetamine.

Waller told officers he didn’t remember going to 7-Eleven the night before.

After the arrest, officers talked to a witness who said Waller had come to the witness’s house with a friend on Thursday night. The man told officers Waller brought two cans of a tropical mixed drink and beer, and, after watching the 7-Eleven surveillance footage, said Waller had been wearing the same clothes as the man in the video.

Waller was still in custody Saturday, according to jail records.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan