Man pleads not guilty to robbing two Tacoma markets

A convicted robber is being held without bail at the Pierce County Jail after pleading not guilty to two holdups at Tacoma markets.

Anthony Petruccelli, 31, was arrested Wednesday after a tip identified him as the culprit and police confronted him about the holdups when he met with his state corrections officer.

Petruccelli is under active supervision by the Department of Corrections.

Prosecutors charged him Thursday with two counts of first-degree robbery. Police believe he is responsible for a third armed robbery, but no charges have been filed in that case.

He is accused of robbing a deli in the 700 block of South 72nd Street at knife point on July 17 and July 19. Police believe he also held up a market in the 1400 block of South 56th Street on July 19.

Police recovered the knife believed used in one of the robberies. Although they could not find fingerprints on the weapon, forensic testing uncovered Petruccelli’s DNA on the knife, according to charging papers.

No one was hurt in the holdups, though the robber did scuffle with the cashier at the market on 72nd Street.

The cashier swung a stool at the robber, hitting him in the face, and then armed himself with a garden hoe while the robber snatched money from the register and fled, records state.

If convicted in the case, Petruccelli will be labeled a persistent offender.

He has two prior robbery convictions in 2010 and 2011. In the first case, he held up a Lakewood pharmacy for oxycontin pills that he took in a suicide attempt. In the second case, he robbed a gas station.