KPD arrests two connected to string of armed robberies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

KPD arrests two connected to string of armed robberies

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KENNEWICK, WA - Two men are in Kennewick Police custody after an armed robbery at Tri-City Vaperz in Kennewick yesterday afternoon.

One of the men is suspected in connection with three other robberies in the area since the first of the year. 

Reporter Rex Carlin spoke with an employee of Tri-City Vaperz who was working at the time the robbery occured. Haley White was working yesterday afternoon when 19-year-old Kellen Jepson allegedly walked into the store, and like White said, you never know how you'll react in a given situation like she did when he told her to open the cash register and she froze.

The footage shows the suspect walk into the store and start talking to White at the counter before reaching into his pocket. This is when White shouted to another employee to come up front, and the suspect pointed the gun at him before reaching for the till and taking off.

"It's only happened once," White said. "I've been here about three years, and I've never had an experience like that. Work's very calm. I have amazing employees that come here."

Jepson faces four counts of First Degree Robbery.

Kennewick Police say the other three he's being charged with are the January 2nd robbery at Pandora's Box, the January 8th 7-11 robbery, and the January 11th robbery at Headie's Smoke Shop.

Detloff was also arrested yesterday for allegedly being Jepson's getaway driver yesterday. 

As of now, Kennewick Police say the GNC robbery appears to be unrelated to the four robberies Jepson is being charged with.

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UPDATE -

KENNEWICK, WA- Kennewick police say they have two people in custody connected to a string of armed robberies over the last month. 

Sergeant Ken Lattin tells NBC Right Now officers arrested 19-year-old Kellen Jepson and 20-year-old Noah Detloff Thursday night. Detloff is booked on one count of first degree robbery, Jepson is facing four counts of the same charge.

Detectives have been working several armed robbery cases since January 2nd. First, Pandora's Box, the second on January 8th at the 7-11 on Clearwater Avenue. The third at Headies Smoke Shop on January 11th and the most recent at Tri-City Vaperz Thursday night. Officers are also looking into a robbery at GNC in the same time frame but say it is unrelated.

Kennewick police received information that Jepson visited the Crosspointe Apartments and Clearwater Bay apartments frequently. Detectives searched both locations and spotted Jepson around 6pm leaving Clearwater Bay. He was arrested without incident.

Detectives found Detloff around 10pm driving what is believe to be the getaway car used in the Tri-City Vaperz robbery. 

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KENNEWICK, WA - Police are still searching for a man who robbed a vape shop in Kennewick.

It happened just a few hours ago on Columbia Center Boulevard. Reporter Rex Carlin went to the scene and learned that Kennewick Police are looking for a white male with an average build wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a bandana covering his face.

The armed robbery occurred at the Tri-City Vaperz shop at 321 North Columbia Center Blvd. Police say the man went into the store around 2:45 this afternoon, showed the employees a gun, and demanded money. He then ran off toward the Crosspointe Apartments behind the store.

Police brought in a K-9 Unit to search for the suspect and told the people who lived there to stay inside, as the man should be considered armed and dangerous.

"We're still out canvassing the area, there's obviously several apartments to the west of us behind this business," said Sgt. Ken Lattin with KPD. "We think he probably ran that direction, so we're out talking to as many people as we can, see if somebody saw, knocking on doors, trying to really canvass the area."

KPD doesn't know for sure if this is the same man who committed four other robberies in Kennewick since the first of the year, but Sgt. Lattin says this suspect today does fit the description of the suspect in all the area robberies.

If you have any information you are asked to call 911. 

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