Crime

Man pleads not guilty to robbing Puyallup grocery store

A man charged with robbing a Puyallup grocery store has pleaded not guilty to first-degree robbery.

Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered Maverick Mikaele, 25, jailed in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Police arrested him Monday after a tipster saw “America’s Most Wanted” and identified him as the robber.

According to charging papers, Mikaele went to Pioneer Grocery on Sunday and asked the cashier for a pack of cigarettes. Once the cashier set the smokes on the counter, Mikaele slammed a handgun on the counter and demanded money.

He then fled in a gold Escalade.

Police posted surveillance photographs of the robber, who had a distinctive goatee that came to a point and was wearing a black jacket with a fur-lined hood.

After a tipster named Mikaele as the robber, his sister identified her brother for detectives from a poster.

She said he borrowed her jacket on the day of the holdup. When he came home later that day, she told police, he gave her rent money and said he’d gotten it from a friend.

Mikaele apparently borrowed the Escalade from a friend.

Police found a pack of cigarettes and clothing that matched the robber’s in Mikaele’s bedroom.

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