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UPDATED: Former Lewis-McChord soldier charged in area robberies that netted guns, cash

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on May 4, 2012 at 8:38 am with 16 Comments »
May 4, 2012 2:38 pm

UPDATED at 2:02 p.m.

Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 21-year-old former Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier in seven armed robberies in Lakewood, Tacoma and Lacey, including one heist at a pawnbroker shop that netted 13 guns.

Charging documents filed Thursday detailed a long and extensive investigation that began with the stolen guns and involved a driveby shooting on Interstate 5 in March.

Prosecutors allege Toney R. Williams robbed Old Sarge’s Pawnbroker and six other businesses in Pierce and Thurston counties between December and the end of January.

Williams, who has been in jail since mid-March on charges he trafficked the stolen guns, pleaded not guilty to the robbery charges Friday. He was ordered held in jail in lieu of $1 million.

Williams had been an infantryman with the 4th Stryker Brigade until he was discharged March 29, the Army reported.

Investigators allege Williams committed the following heists:

* Dec. 13 at Old Sarge’s Pawnbroker in Lakewood. The robber had a rifle and got about $300 in cash and 13 guns.

* Dec. 27 at Stellar Mart in Lakewood. The suspect wielded a handgun and grabbed $300 in cash from the clerk.

* Dec. 28 at a Shell gas station in Tacoma. The suspect displayed a black pistol and got $300 in cash.

* Dec. 28 at Lacey Fuel in Lacey. The robber wielded a black pistol and got more than $166 in cash.

* Dec. 30 at Papa John’s in Lakewood. The robber again wielded a black gun and grabbed $120 in cash.

* Jan. 2 at a 7-Eleven in Lakewood. The robber displayed a black pistol and got about $100.

* Jan. 28 at a Union 76 gas station in Tacoma. The robber showed a black gun and got about $180.

The robber wore the same outfit during five of the heists.

Charging documents indicate a break in the investigation of the Old Sarge’s robbery came March 4 when a man said he’d been shot at while driving on Interstate 5 in Lakewood. He was not injured.

Officers stopped the suspects’ vehicle and detained the two soldiers inside. On the floor they found one of the guns stolen in the Old Sarge’s robbery.

One of the suspects eventually told investigators he’d bought the gun on a corner in Tillicum and figured “it was probably stolen,” charging documents state.

Police investigators searched his Lakewood home and contacted his wife. They found two other guns, one of which had been stolen in the Old Sarge’s robbery.

After conducting other interviews and serving search warrants, police investigators found a duffel bag containing eight other guns stolen from Old Sarge’s. They searched Williams’ Tacoma home in March and found a rifle.

Williams told investigators he was confined to Lewis-McChord at the time of the Old Sarge’s robbery.  His commander later refuted the claim, court documents state.

Lakewood, Tacoma and Lacey police as well as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.

Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. NineInchNachosII says:

    sooner they get the new leadership command dudes at JBLM the better.

  2. Wrapper98439 says:

    $1500 for a long time in prison. Not too bright. Stealing a loaded armored car has a similar punishment, but a far greater reward.

  3. TheSlag says:

    JBLM folks involved in crime? You don’t say!!

  4. YeeHaw says:

    Army hires cannon fodder, treats them like cannon fodder, then decides the way to fix it is to hire some high-priced management. Clue up.

  5. jeffm209 says:

    Do other army bases produce as many thugs and criminals; or, is this the only one?

  6. BlaineCGarver says:

    Here come the predictable Military Haters…..Tell ya what….pick several thousand Male soldiers 25 or under at random and then pick out the same number off the Hilltop and records…LMAO..

  7. jeffm209 says:

    Hilltop and Eastsiders are not disciplined and trained to protect. Please compare “Apples to Apples”, as I have done.

  8. jeffm209 says:

    Hilltop and Eastsiders are not disciplined and trained to protect. Please compare “Apples to Apples”, as I have done in the call of my question.

  9. Malaka says:

    @ Blaine… here come the predictable racists… tell you what, I’ll take you up on that bet if you have the cojones and smarts to do the study yourself… and this coming from someone who supports the military… LMAO at you

  10. NineInchNachosII says:

    will the soldier’s family get to march in next year’s daffodil parade too? Come on Post 91!

  11. ginahopk says:

    Seems like getting a job would be a lot easier than robbing places. Even at minimum wage they would make more than that in a month. Wouldn’t go to prison either. Stupid little punk

  12. thebestofthebest says:

    Lucky Seven ……….

  13. seahawkerholm says:

    Jeffm, you provided a statement, not a comparison. Quite different. It does flaunt your bias and ignorance. Soldiers are people, not robots that you can program. They are recruited from all walks of life, rich and poor, country and city…they are given fbi background checks and psychological reviews to vet out ‘thugs and criminals’…I don’t know what kind of Fairytale World you live in, but there is always a slice of ANY population that gives in to criminal activity, trained and disciplined or not. There are over 50,000 troops & their families that live/work @ JBLM, 99% of whom are good, honest, hard working individuals. How about a more fair assessment, you do come off sounding like a biased, racist, hippy humping, tree hugging pig.

  14. jeffm209 says:

    Really? Inquiring about the crime aspect of one institution compared to other similar institutions is not a question?
    I thought the question-mark at the end of the sentence was a dead giveaway. – Oh well, I guess I wasted my time in college :(
    And… I’m a hippy for asking such a question? Damn, I better sell my BMW.

  15. MedicintheArmy says:

    I can answer that question, jeffm. No JBLM IS NOT THE ONLY BASE “THAT PRODUCES CRIMINALS.” Just like any other populace in society there is a criminal element. Sad, yes. True, unfortunately. I can on a daily basis pull 5-10 news stories of civilians in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area committing crimes of various nature for every one that comes from JBLM airmen and soldiers. Now, before you decide to go using your college degree to defend your previous statement, remember, I’ve been stationed at the MOST TROUBLED base in the military in world and I must be a criminal and can’t possibly have a biased opinion (That was a joke, by the way.). Just to clear the air, military members are educated well trained professionals we just don’t get to wear suits and ties.

  16. NineInchNachosII says:

    Call the barefoot bandit Lawyer !

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