ARLINGTON – A man dressed in what appeared to be a reindeer onesie costume is still on the loose after robbing the Trafton General Store near Arlington Dec. 14.
Now investigators say he may be wanted in as many as five armed robberies over the past week.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office major crimes unit is working with Arlington and Everett police detectives who are investigating robberies with characteristics similar to the Trafton robbery, spokeswoman Courtney O’Keefe said.
Two of them happened in Arlington.
Deputies responded to the Trafton incident about 3 a.m. Dec. 14 at the grocery in the 12100 block of Highway 530 NE in Arlington.
The suspect entered the store quickly, dressed in a light brown costume with a dark hoodie beneath and camouflage face mask.
The sheriff’s office released chilling surveillance video capturing the robbery on camera. The three minutes of footage shared online and through social media has generated thousands of views.
During the holdup, the suspect ordered the clerk over to checkout, threw blue cloth bags on the counter while holding in his right hand what appeared to be a handgun, and demanded money.
“Put ‘em up!” he shouted. “Go, go, go, now! Unload these registers now….You call the cops, and you’re a dead man. You’d better hurry up, now! Cash! Move it…faster!”
The suspect looked around regularly as the employee complied. The costume also had a tan oval on the front, and he also wore dark gloves and boots.
When the clerk asked if the stack of bills he provided was all, the suspect said “yeah,” then shot off a small pepper spray cannister in the employee’s direction before fleeing the scene.
Detectives believe the suspect’s vehicle is dark colored, possibly blue with a roof rack.
Arlington police responded to a robbery around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 13 at the 7-Eleven in the 500 block of N. West Avenue. A man described as in his 40s and 6’1” with a thin build, brandished a silver semi-automatic handgun. Three nights later, a suspect with a similar description robbed the same store, only this time armed with a shotgun, with cash taken in both incidents.
In the Arlington robberies, detectives believe the suspect’s oversized vest has a pillow underneath in an attempt to disguise his appearance, O’Keefe said.
Two more robberies at a 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut in Everett that occurred during the same period involving a tall, thin suspect using a face mask and other means to conceal his identity, are also being investigated by deputies and police in Everett.