Spokane County Major Crimes Detectives, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, safely served a search warrant at a location in the 2800 block of East 53rd just after 9:15 this morning. Investigators arrested a robbery suspect, identified as 21-year-old Samuel A. Branch, for Robbery 1st Degree.
The search warrant is the culmination of an investigation into an armed robbery reported on April 8, 2016 at approximately 8:30 p.m., at the Albertson’s Pharmacy located at 3010 East 57th. At that time, a male approached the pharmacy counter, displayed a handgun and demanded “Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup”. The suspect was last seen leaving the location in a black SUV.
Later that evening, Washington State Patrol shared a tip they received regarding a possible location for the suspect vehicle which was parked in the area of 51st and Madelia. Deputies responded to the location and found a black GMC Yukon SUV without license plates parked on the street, abandoned, with the doors locked and the headlights on. While waiting for a tow truck to arrive to impound the vehicle for evidence, deputies observed two males approach the vehicle. They contacted and identified the males and identified one as Branch. Although the stories provided by the males regarding the evening were suspicious, deputies could not directly tie them to the robbery and could not make an arrest.
With information gained from a search of the vehicle once a search warrant was obtained and the continued investigation, Major Crimes Detectives developed probable cause for a search warrant of Branch’s residence.
During the service of the search warrant, Branch was contacted and detained along with another male. Investigators seized clothing believed to be worn during the robbery, as well as 28 empty bottles of prescription cough syrup at the residence.
After Branch was interviewed, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Robbery 1st Degree.
The second male was not charged and released after he was interviewed.