Spokane robbery suspects don masks, duct tape men


by KREM.com


Posted on January 8, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 8 at 6:21 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.--  Three men were quickly arrested following a robbery early Wednesday in Spokane Valley.

It happened around 4:15 a.m. on the 11000 block of E. 3rd Avenue, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies contacted a male victim in the home who reported being attacked by three suspects.  He answered a knock at the door and three men pushed him to the ground, according to the victim.  The suspects, Robert Burke, 32, Joshua Elmgren, 26, and Derek Sczenski 32, then punched the victim in the face before they duct taped he and his friend.

The victim told deputies the suspects stole his TV, computer, two guitars, a sweatshirt, cell phone, wallet and other miscellaneous items.  He said the suspects were wearing super hero masks and that one of the suspects, later identified as Sczenski, took his mask off while inside the apartment.

Deputies called in a K9 unit to track the suspects.  They were able to locate all three men near the area of 122 N. University Road.  Upon further investigation, deputies located the stolen items from the victim’s apartment inside the residence.  All three suspects claimed to have no idea how the victim’s stolen property ended up inside their residence, according to deputies.

All three suspects were booked into jail for 1st Degree robbery and Unlawful Imprisonment.

Burke faced a Spokane County judge on Wednesday.

“It's easy to see this stuff in town or on the other side of the town, but when you see it two doors away at 6:00 in the morning, it's pretty scary,” said neighbor Stephen Farmer.

Farmer lives less than a mile away from where the alleged robbery happened. He said he saw deputies surround the mobile home around 6:00 a.m.

“I saw cops. I saw dogs. They actually woke me up.  I heard the cops screaming that they were going to turn the dogs loose and somebody was gonna get bit,” said Farmer.

One of the suspects told a deputy he went to the victim’s home to, in his words, “tax him as he owed $800 for meth,” according to court documents.