Machete wielding robbery suspect caught in Moses Lake



Posted on February 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 6:41 PM

MOSES LAKE, Wash.--A Moses Lake man is accused of robbing a liquor store while wielding a machete. The crime was caught on surveillance video.

It happened Friday evening at Moses Lake Liquor and Wine.

The suspect is booked in Ephrata at the Grant County Jail. The store owner said all he wanted to do was get the man out of his store.

Michael Ventura said he was sitting in his office on Friday when a man walked briskly through the front door. Surveillance video shows he approached the cashier, immediately pulled out a large machete and demanded money.

UNCUT VIDEO: Machete wielding suspect robs Moses Lake liquor store

“My cashier actually didn't believe that he was robbing her, she said ‘what?’” said Ventura.

The man called the cashier ‘mama’ and told her it was not a joke, according to court documents.

My biggest concern was somebody getting hurt, that's all I was concerned about,” said Ventura.

Ventura said he heard the commotion, came out of his office and approached the man.
“My first thought is get him out of here, give him whatever he wanted and just get him out of here,” said Ventura.

The cashier opened the register and started to lay down money on the counter. The man grabbed it and ran out of the store.
Ventura’s wife and customers rushed to the door to try to get a description of his vehicle. Ventura said Moses Lake police responded and reviewed the surveillance video.

One of the officers recognized the suspect as 21-year-old Nicholas Sweet. The officer said he gave Sweet a ride home from the hospital the night before, according to court documents.

Court papers said officers contacted Sweet at his home and he eventually admitted to committing the robbery. Charging documents said Sweet told police he did it because he was in debt and remained behind in bills and rent.

Ventura said his cashier went back to work after the robbery.
“After the fact I said, ‘were you scared?’ She said ‘I was more mad than scared’,” said Ventura.

Ventura said he thanks Moses Lake police for their quick response and his customers for helping give a suspect description to officers.