UPDATE as of 3:34 p.m. Scott Barnes pleaded not guilty today to three counts of first-degree robbery, and was held pending $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors said the man admitted to three Pierce County robberies and an uncharged robbery in King County.
INITIAL POST: A 28-year-old Spanaway man arrested Wednesday on suspicion of robbing a Walgreens pharmacy in the South Hill area is suspected in three other recent armed robberies, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
The alleged robber walked into Walgreens, 22320 Meridian East, about 1:45 p.m. He jumped over the counter and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the employee, forcing him to his knees.
“The goal was to steal medication,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
After grabbing several bottles, the man fled in a vehicle. A deputy recognized the vehicle and tried to pull it over but the alleged robber fled, starting a chase that wound through South Hill and ended in the 17600 block of Gem Heights Drive East.
The man was booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of three counts of first-degree robbery.
A handgun and pill bottles were recovered in the vehicle, Troyer said.
The man is believed to have robbed two other Walgreens in Pierce County and one in Auburn.