SPOKANE, Wash. – The former Washington corrections officer found guilty robbing a Cheney Dollar Tree store was sentenced to 200 months in prison on Thursday.
Jeffrey Pool was found guilty of two counts of first degree robbery, four counts of assault in the second degree and four counts of unlawful imprisonment.
Officials said Pool robbed the Dollar Tree store at gunpoint in May 2015 and July 2016.
Police said Pool was wearing a motorcycle helmet. It was that motorcycle helmet and what else he was wearing that ultimately led detectives to the Airway Heights Corrections Facility employee.
In July, Pool tied up employees with zip ties and forced them into the warehouse area of the store with a gun, officers said. While this was going on, there were still customers and another employee in the front of the store. The employee went to find the manager and found him being held at gunpoint.
Officials said Pool then had to let the assistant manager and employee switch places, so the manger could go check out the remaining customers.
Detectives said Pool then held the other employee at gun point and threatened to hurt her if the manager said anything to the customers, so he had to act like nothing was going on. Officials said that an employee recognized Pool’s voice from the robbery in May 2015.
Officials said an assistant manager at the store recognized Pool from school at Eastern Washington University and a local gym. Fearing he was going to be robbed again, the assistant store manager told detectives he tried to fight the suspect but he pulled out a gun. Neither employee was hurt during the robbery, but were both shaken up.
After getting money from the registers, detectives said Pool fled the store and the employees called 911. Officers responded to the scene, and the employees noticed the suspect was wearing pants and shoes very similar to what the officers were wearing.
According to officials, Pool worked as a Washington State Corrections officer and was working the graveyard shift at the Airway Heights Facility. Court documents said Pool also used to work at the Dollar Tree at one point.