By Julia Ornedo

Two arrested after allegedly robbing store, pepper spraying employee


Two people were arrested after they allegedly robbed a store of items worth about $1,000, pepper-sprayed a loss prevention officer who attempted to stop them, and later gave chase to police.

According to reports by several Olympia police officers, Daniel J. Ditlow, 40, identified by police as a transient of Tumwater, and Taylor Ann Janet Tidrick, 24, also a transient, of Olympia, were arrested at around 7:30 p.m.,  Sun., Jan. 23, after a reported robbery at the JC Penney department store in Capitol Mall.

The loss prevention officer told police that he was monitoring the store when the suspects entered and started loading a cart with merchandise such as makeup and clothes.

The employee said the suspects then exited the store without paying for the items. He said he approached them and asked them to go back inside, at which point Ditlow knocked him away from the cart and Tidrick started running.

The employee said the suspect Ditlow pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed his face, causing coughing and a burning sensation in his face and eyes.

The loss prevention officer told police he fell to the ground after getting sprayed because he could not see but heard Ditlow yell at Tidrick to get the allegedly stolen items into the car. He said the suspects drove off in a black sedan.

Another store employee, who reported the incident to 911, said she heard yelling in the parking lot and saw the loss prevention officer attempting to stop two individuals, who then used a pepper spray can that emitted a “large cloud.”

The female employee said she saw the loss prevention officer fall to the ground as the suspects fled. She managed to take a photo of the suspects’ car and followed them until they ran a red light.

Police later located the suspects driving southbound on Black Lake Boulevard. They refused to yield to authorities, prompting a pursuit that ended north of milepost 100 on Route 101 south.

The suspects were detained without incident. The loss prevention officer confirmed that authorities caught the right individuals.

Police returned store items worth $366.40 from the vehicle. Other recovered goods amounting to $1,294.13 were deemed too damaged because they were covered in pepper spray.

Ditlow was booked at the Thurston County Jail for second-degree robbery, eluding a police vehicle, and third-degree driving while license suspended, while Tidrick was booked for second-degree robbery. A pepper spray can was found in their car.


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