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Rite-Aid ‘robber’ sentenced to almost two years

After two failed attempts to hold up a local drugstore, a 23-year-old South Kitsap man was sentenced to just less than two years in prison this month in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Justin D. Altstatt pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree robbery after admitting that when he tried to rob the RiteAid drug store on Bethel Road a second time on Jan. 14, one of the store’s employees’ was injured.

“I did attempt to take property from another by force (and) in the process, bodily injury was inflicted,” Altstatt wrote while changing his plea to guilty earlier this month.

According to Kitsap County Sheriff’s reports, the incident he was charged for occurred around 6:40 p.m. on Jan. 14 when store employees and other witnesses reported that Altstatt came up to an employee behind a cash register at the drug store and requested change for a dollar.

The employee told deputies that when he opened the till to get coins, a juvenile suspect “charged” at him.

The victim told deputies that he grabbed the suspect and placed him in a “headlock,” and soon after both suspects exited the store with no money.

When deputies responded to the area, they tracked, then located both suspects — one in a trailer and one walking nearby.

They also learned that both suspects had apparently attempted to rob the Wendy’s restaurant just south of the drug store.

When deputies talked to employees at the fast-food establishment, they said a white male with a ball cap and scarf over his face came up to the counter and said “put the money in the bag” while pushing a paper bag towards her.

However, the teen-aged cashier did not understand what he wanted and thought he was attempting to order food.

She said she called her manager over to help him.

When the manager came over, the suspect again reportedly asked for money and pushed the bag toward her.

The manager said she thought he was trying to rob them but wasn’t sure, and said the suspect then apparently got frustrated and left the store.

Asked why they didn’t call 911, the employees said they thought the suspect was playing a joke on them.

Altstatt was then booked into Kitsap County Jail for both robbery first-degree and second-degree and held under $100,000.

The suspects are also believed responsible for another robbery attempt at the Rite Aid that occurred on Jan. 9. During that incident a female employee at the drug store reported a man approached her cash register and demanded money.

She told deputies that the suspect gave her a piece of paper that read, “Put the money in the bag,” handing her a bag and pointing at it.

The clerk went on to say that at first she did not think he was serious, but then he pulled out a knife and waved it at her.

At that point she said she announced over the store intercom that a person in the store had a knife, and after that she said the suspect ran out of the store.

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