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Tacoma couple claims they robbed gas stations for rent money

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
January 16, 2013 12:55 pm

Two people pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree robbery in connection with a holdup at a Tacoma gas station last summer.

Authorities said Anthony Walton, 29, is also a suspect in a second gas station robbery that was featured by Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers. His bail was set at $75,000. Bail for Natalie Shermer, Walton’s 25-year-old girlfriend, was set at $10,000.

Charging documents give this account:

On May 15, Walton walked into the Shell gas station, 13221 Pacific Avenue South, and pointed a gun at the clerk while demanding money. The clerk told him he couldn’t open the cash register but eventually handed over money after Walton repeatedly threatened to shoot him.

Walton fled in a car driven by Shermer.

Detectives interviewed Shermer this week and she admitted her boyfriend was wanted for robbing a 7-11 gas station, 4701 S Oakes St., the day after the Shell gas station robbery. She said she had seen his photograph on a Crime Stoppers poster.

She denied her involvement at first but recanted her story after police showed her surveillance photos of them leaving the business.

“She explained that she and Walton were about to lose their home and they were trying to get money to pay rent,” according to court records.

A revolver believed to be used in both robberies was recovered from Walton’s car when police served a search warrant, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.

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