FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — King County authorities are investigating several armed robberies at convenience stores in Federal Way, Kent and Renton Thursday night into Friday morning.
According to Valley Communications, five separate armed robberies took place in Kent, Federal Way and Renton between around 10:45 p.m. Thursday and 3:20 a.m. Friday.
Valley Communications confirmed the 7-Elevens were robbed at gunpoint by two men:
- 18000 block of W. Valley Hwy in Kent at around 10:48 p.m.
- 34000 block of Pacific Hwy in Federal Way at around 11:29 p.m.
- 32000 block of 1st Ave S in Federal Way at around 11:39 p.m.
The 76 Station in the 33000 block of 1st Way S in Federal Way at around 11:59 p.m. was also reportedly robbed at gunpoint by two men.
According to the Federal Way Police Department, the descriptions of the suspects in all three Federal Way robberies were very similar. There were no injuries reported and money was taken at each location.
Police said the suspects stole the clerk's vehicle in the last Federal Way robbery. The vehicle was later recovered unoccupied at around 4 a.m. after it was involved in a hit-and-run collision.
The Shell gas station in the 1400 block of N 30th St in Renton was robbed by three men at gunpoint at around 3:20 a.m.
According to the Renton Police Department, two employees reported three men entered the store, each with a handgun, and demanded cash from the register.
Around $300 was taken along with a bag full of vape pens. The suspects reportedly left on foot.
Valley Communications did not confirm if the descriptions of the suspects in the Federal Way robberies matched the other robberies.
"It's a very sad state of affairs,” said Chander Shekher, the president of the 7-Eleven Franchisee Owners’ Association. "Nobody wants to work at night."
Shekher owns four convenience stores in western Washington.
"The only answer is strengthening the law enforcement agencies and good governance by great laws that prohibit this totally,” he said.
Mark Johnson with the Washington Retail Association says it is often coordinated and very targeted.
"These rashes of robberies and such are usually connected to an organized retail crime ring,” said Johnson. "A retail convenience store in particular are pretty easy targets for these criminal crime rings because you have what one, two, maybe at the tops, three clerks working at a store at one time."
Shekher wants a notification system to be set up that would alert 24-hour businesses right away about robberies that happen around the region.
"This kind of information will help others to safeguard,” he said.
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