He said drugs dulled his PTSD, but ex-soldier turned to robbery to get them, police say

Desperate for money to buy drugs, a former soldier robbed a pizza joint and tried to hold up a fast food restaurant.

His first brush with crime came Feb. 20 when he attempted to rob a Lakewood fast food restaurant. Although police identified him as a suspect, the worker couldn’t identify the soldier from a photo lineup.

He was again picked up by police after an April 23 holdup at a pizzeria in Tacoma.

The victim in that case told officers she heard the clicking sound of a gun but never saw one. Video surveillance shows a man holding a weapon jump over the counter and empty all the cash from the till.

The former soldier told police he served his country for nine years and suffered from PTSD, which he tried to combat by using heroin and methamphetamine, according to court documents.

During the pizza restaurant incident, the man said he carried an air soft pistol.

“He said he needed money to get more dope,” prosecutors wrote in charging papers.

The 35-year-old man has been charged with first-degree robbery. He has not made a court appearance.