By ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News
BREMERTON, Wash. – One of the apparent victims in an armed robbery at a grocery store is now accused of taking part in an inside job. Police believe the grocery store clerk planned the crime with two of his friends.
"I was closing up the store and I went to throw some cardboard out and I was met with a gun,” said the former grocery store employee in a KING 5 interview last week.
The 21-year-old worked at Red Apple Market in Bremerton and was one of two employees who were held at gunpoint when robbers entered a back door and forced him to open the safe.
He claimed he was too stressed to return to work.
"It was just way too much looking at where I was zip-tied and where I had a gun to my head, and it was just stressful,” he said.
Now this worker is behind bars, accused of being an accomplice of what police say was an inside job.
The market’s owner and manager says right away he had his suspicions.
"It was just too easy, too staged. It was rehearsed,” said store owner Tim Garguiles.
Garguiles says the accused employee has worked on and off as a clerk and bagger for him for four years.
Police say the two alleged armed robbers were his friends and they used the money for a weeklong spending spree that ended with all of them behind bars, soon to be charged with robbing the store.
"I didn't want to quit. I love that store, I love working there, I love the employees, I love the community, I love all the people,” the employee said.
Garguiles says he felt like a father figure to him, but now he feels betrayed.
"He's going to have a long time to think about what he did and it was very foolish,” he said.
Police say a search of the suspect's home turned up cash, a handgun, and clothing used in the robbery.
Detectives believe the suspects used some of the money for the purchase of a car and for a night of gambling at a casino.