An Olympia man was charged with multiple felonies and a gross misdemeanor after allegedly stealing from a grocery store and swinging a knife at employees who attempted to stop him.
Javier Mendoza, 28, was charged with first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault while armed with a deadly weapon, and third-degree theft by the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney yesterday, August. 3.
Mendoza was arrested on July 30 after a reported robbery with a knife at the Safeway on the 4200 block of Martin Way E.
Two employees told police that they waited at the front of the store after Mendoza entered because the because the man was “displaying the same behavior of people who had stolen from them in the past.”
One employee recalled that Mendoza stuffed his cart, grabbing two of every item, then tried to walk out of the store without paying. The employee said he grabbed the cart and asked Mendoza if he planned to pay for the items, to which the suspect replied, “No.”
The employee said he held onto the cart and tried pushing it back toward the aisles, but Mendoza pulled out a long butcher knife staff claim was also taken from the store and concealed by his arm and swung two to three times at the hands of both staff.
Both employees said they would have been cut if they had not moved out of the way.
Mendoza then ran out of the store with the cart, according to an employee.
Police found Mendoza pushing the cart near the intersection of Martin Way E and Kasey Keller Drive NE. When the suspect saw law enforcement, he turned around and began walking away quickly, an officer said.
Mendoza was detained nearby.
Police say the suspect told them that he was lying down in front of an establishment on the 4200 block of Martin Way E when he heard a shopping cart coming toward him. He claimed that a well-groomed male gave him a cart full of food along with a black backpack.
Mendoza said he thought that the items were a blessing from the man. He denied ever going into Safeway, adding that he would never steal because he was raised better than that.
An officer noted that Mendoza was “sweating profusely” while speaking with them. Police also found an inside-out wet black shirt in the black backpack, “as if the person wearing the shirt had been sweaty and pulled it off in a hurry and stuffed in the bag.”
Both employees positively identified Mendoza as the man who attacked them, and said the shopping cart was property of the store. One of the staff also noted that Mendoza was wearing the black backpack inside Safeway.
Police located two stainless steel kitchen knives with black handles inside the shopping cart. One had been opened while the other was still inside the original packaging.
Mendoza allegedly stole multiple food items and drinks worth $453.81 in total.
The suspect was booked into the Thurston County Jail for first-degree robbery and second-degree assault
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