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Adult Male Arrested For Robbing Two Spokane Valley Businesses

Posted 8/15/2012 4:35 PM by KWESTBERG

On Friday, August 10, 2012, at about 7:45 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to the Trading Company, located at 13014 E. Sprague Ave., on a robbery call. Employees at the store said a male subject, later identified as 29 year old Jeffrey Matthews, was concealing merchandise in a plastic bag inside the store. When Matthews walked past the last register and exited the store without paying, employees contacted him at a vehicle he was getting into. Matthews reached inside the vehicle, obtained a can of "bear mace", pointed it at the employee and threatened to spray him. Believing Matthews was going to spray him the employee backed away and was able to write down the license plate of the vehicle as it fled the scene driven by a female accomplice.

On Saturday, August 11, 2012, at about 5:00 p.m., Spokane Valley Deputies responded to Big Lots at 14024 E. Sprague on a robbery call. An employee at Big Lots observed a male subject, later identified as Matthews, placing items inside a Big Lots bag he had brought into the store. The employee watched as Matthews walked past the last cash register and asked him if he was going to pay for the items inside the bag. Matthews replied "I might get in line or walk out with mace".

The employee said Matthews immediately displayed a can of mace and exited the store without paying for the items. A second employee working at the front of the store followed Matthews outside the store. Matthews turned towards the employee and sprayed the mace directly in his face. The employees were able to write down the license plate of the vehicle Matthews fled in, which was the same vehicle from the Trading Company incident. The vehicle was being driven by the same female accomplice.

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at approximately 5:15 p.m., Spokane Police Officers responded to a person with a weapon call at Oreilly's Auto Parts located at 2424 N. Division. Spokane Police Officers were advised the suspect, later identified as Matthews, had maced an employee at the business, abandoned his vehicle at the store and was running from the business. This was the same vehicle that had been involved in the two prior robberies in Spokane Valley.

After Spokane Police Officers detained Matthews, Spokane County Sheriff's Detective J. Rosenthal was advised of the incident. Detective Rosenthal had already spoken with the registered owner of the vehicle, who was the female driver in the two Valley robberies. She confirmed Matthews had committed both robberies, and several other crimes, during his two day crime spree. Detective Rosenthal has not charged the female driver with any crimes at this time due to other information obtained and her cooperation.

This arrest is a direct result of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit pro-actively investigating all robberies in Spokane County and Spokane Valley. Every robbery is thoroughly investigated by the Major Crimes Unit and has proven extremely successful with multiple arrests in recent months.

• Matthews was booked into the Spokane County Jail on two counts of 2nd Degree Robbery as well as a Felony Probation Violation Warrant for 2nd Degree Manslaughter.