Auburn

Charges: 'Bigger gun' robbers hid overnight in woods with pregnant woman

SEATTLE -- The armed robbers scared off by a West Seattle store clerk's "bigger" gun spent the night hiding in the woods with a pregnant woman after crashing their car following a second robbery in Auburn, according to charges filed with King County Superior Court Monday.

As previously reported, two men entered a convenience store Nov. 23 -- a third was acting as getaway driver -- and attempted to rob the clerk at gunpoint. That's when the clerk pulled out a loaded revolver, saying "My gun's bigger" and scaring off the would-be robbers.

The three suspects in that attempted robbery were arrested Nov. 25 after two of them reportedly robbed a woman at gunpoint the night before in Auburn.

Fernando Quebrado, 27, is charged with attempted robbery and is being held on $100,000 bail on suspicion of pointing a gun at the West Seattle clerk and demanding money. He has prior misdemeanor convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia and marijuana, furnishing liquor to minors and DUI.

Jose Luis Vargus, 28, and Francisco Dominguez-Ramirez, 21, are charged with robbery and attempted robbery and are being held on $250,000 bail on suspicion of robbing the woman in Auburn and participating in the West Seattle attempted robbery. They both have prior felony convictions for theft of a motor vehicle, residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Charging documents filed Monday add details to the robbery that led to the three arrests, including that Vargus and Dominguez-Ramirez spent the night in the woods with a 6-months pregnant woman while hiding from police.

According to the documents, the victim in the Nov. 24 Auburn robbery was driving home from work as a barista when a white Ford Explorer started repeatedly accelerating up behind her and backing off.

The victim later told deputies she slowed down to let the Explorer pass her, and it rammed into her car, forcing her off the road.

According to the charging documents, the Explorer blocked the victim's car from driving off, and Dominguez-Rameriz and Vargus approached the victim. After yelling that they were the police, the men stole the victim's purse, wallet and cellphone at gunpoint and drove off, according to the documents.

King County Sheriff's deputies arrived to find the Explorer crashed in a ditch a short ways away. Thanks to the duct tape covering the Explorer's license plate and logos, deputies recognized it as the same vehicle used in the West Seattle robbery. The victim's purse and a gun were reportedly found inside.

There was no sign of the suspects, but the next day a resident nearby called 911 to report three suspicious people who had come to his door asking for water for their disabled car. The resident decided to call 911 because of the police activity the night before.

Deputies arrived to find three people covered in scratches and wearing dirty and torn clothing, according to the documents. Deputies reportedly found the keys to the Explorer and the victim's cellphone on the trio.

One of three suspicious people was a woman who was 6-months pregnant. According to the charging documents, she told deputies she was in the passenger seat of the Explorer at the time of the robbery and crash.

She reportedly said she, Vargus and Dominguez-Rameriz had been driving around and were at a gas station when they saw the victim leaving work and decided to follow her.

According to the documents, the woman said she didn't know what the men were going to do; she was tired and trying to sleep when they cut off the victim's car.

The woman told deputies they crashed the Explorer while driving too fast away from the robbery and spent the night in the woods, according to the documents.

Vargus and Dominguez-Ramirez were arrested at the scene. Quebrado was arrested a short time later.