The twin brothers said the same thing: Brother No. 1 had stolen some alcohol from the McKenna Grocery and shoved a clerk to the ground before riding off on a bicycle.
But Brother No. 1 had to ask investigators to remind him of the circumstances of the robbery and what the clerk had told them.
The brothers’ mother was no help when shown a photo from the robbery. She said she couldn’t tell which boy it was.
In the end, Pierce County sheriff’s deputies went with the clerk’s description and arrested Brother No. 2 – a 21-year-old Roy-area man who pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery Wednesday.
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Charging papers give this account:
A man stole alcohol Sept. 19 from the grocery in the 32500 block of state Route 507.
After knocking down the clerk, the thief said, “Sorry, shorty,” as he fled on the bicycle.
The clerk worked with deputies to identify the man, who she knew to have a twin brother. She said she could tell which man was which, because one has a chipped, discolored tooth.
Deputies found and arrested the man, at which point he screamed that it wasn’t him, but his twin brother who had robbed the store.
Investigators later went to speak with the twin brother, who also said they had the wrong guy, and that he himself had committed the robbery.
During that interview, he asked deputies if they could refresh his memory about the robbery and what the clerk had said.
The twins’ mother arrived during that interview but couldn’t help ID the robber from the surveillance photo.
That didn’t stop a deputy from telling the man: “a mother always knows her sons apart,” court papers state.
That’s when the twin admitted he didn’t do it and apologized to the deputies for wasting their time.
He told them he was worried about what would happen to his his brother, who he said he loved very much.