Men claim they were forced to participate in Tacoma pawn shop robbery

Staff writerApril 24, 2014 

Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday filed first-degree robbery charges against two men who both claim they were forced into holding up a pawn shop in Tacoma.

Reginald Palmer, 20, and Akeel Nesbitt, 30, each pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery with a firearm sentencing enhancement. Bail was set at $350,000 for Palmer and $500,000 for Nesbitt.

The holdup took place Tuesday at Randy’s Loan and Coin in the 5200 block of South Tacoma Way.

A teenage girl first went in pretending to browse and then texted the men that there was nobody inside, according to charging papers.

Three men, including Palmer, then allegedly entered and demanded all the jewelry in the display cases. Records indicate Palmer carried a semi-automatic pistol during the robbery.

When officers stopped Palmer and a teenage girl nearby, they found a jewelry box and gun on him. He told police a man approached him and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t rob the business, court records show.

Nesbitt, who is accused of driving the men to the store, initially denied knowing about the robbery but later said he was forced to participate.

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