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Two men charged in crime spree that included robbery, burglary and trying to ram cops

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on March 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
March 27, 2013 3:03 pm
Brandon Schein is led into court this afternoon. Credit: Adam Lynn/The News Tribune
Brandon Schein is led into court this afternoon.
Credit: Adam Lynn/The News Tribune
Justin Downs is led into court. Credit: Adam Lynn/The News Tribune
Justin Downs is led into court.
Credit: Adam Lynn/The News Tribune

UPDATE: Not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf at their arraignment this afternoon. Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered them each  jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.

PREVIOUS POST: Pierce County prosecutors today charged two men with multiple felonies for an alleged crime spree Sunday that started with a burglary in Gig Harbor and ended with two suspects wrecking their car while trying to flee police.

Justin Downs, 23, and Brandon Schein, 27, are to arraigned in Superior Court this afternoon.

Downs is charged with residential burglary, attempted burglary, two counts of first-degree robbery and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Schein faces those charges as well and also two counts of second-degree assault and one count of attempting to elude police. Prosecutors contend he was at the wheel of a black BMW that fled officers then circled back and attempted to ram them.

The action started about 1:40 p.m. when a Gig Harbor woman heard loud noises in her house. She found a strange man in her utility room when she went to investigate, court records show. The man ran off.

A few minutes later, a Gig Harbor couple returned home to find two men on their front porch apparently trying to break in. When the men saw them, they ran to a black BMW, court records show. The driver allegedly pointed a gun at the husband and demanded he back up his car. The BMW then drove away.

A little after 2 p.m., Tacoma police received a call of an armed robbery on 6th Avenue. About 15 minutes later they received another armed-robbery report, this time on South 12th Avenue.

A patrol officer spotted a black BMW fleeing from the scene of the second robbery. Another officer joined in the pursuit.

At one point, the BMW turned into an apartment complex parking lot, whipped around and drove straight at the two patrol cars, records show. The officers took evasive action to keep from being hit.

The BMW then hit a curb, blowing out the tires, and two men later identified as Downs and Schein  jumped out and ran off, the records show. They were arrested shortly thereafter.

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