Crime

Federal Way man charged in 20 robberies

A 21-year-old Federal Way man suspected of robbing 20 convenience stores in Pierce and King counties is in custody, police said Wednesday.

King County prosecutors charged Valoaga Falaniko with the robbery of a 7-Eleven store Dec. 24 in Federal Way. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors in both counties said they expected to file additional charges after investigations wrap up.

Police said Falaniko has held up 20 7-Eleven stores in Tacoma, Spanaway, Lakewood, Auburn, Federal Way, Des Moines, Tukwila and SeaTac since November.

Federal Way police identified Falaniko as a suspect after the Dec. 24 robbery because the clerk followed the robber out of the store and gave detectives his license plate and a description of his vehicle.

Police searched a wooded area behind the store and found a jacket Falaniko allegedly wore during the robbery.

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