3 teens arrested in armed robbery at Sprinker Recreation Center

A robber who stole bags from Sprinker Recreation Center during a tennis event Saturday pointed a gun at a man who gave chase, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

People attending the event told deputies three teenage boys in hooded sweatshirts were seen lingering near personal items in the viewing area. The teens eventually snatched bags, ran down a stairwell and out a door about 2:15 p.m.

A man said he was right behind one of the teens until the teen ordered him to stop and pointed a gun at him. One woman said she ran after them but the teen she was chasing leapt over a fence.

A search dog looked for the teens, one of whom was found in a nearby field. The 18-year-old was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery, obstruction and resisting arrest.

Two teens, aged 14 and 17, later were taken into custody in connection with the armed robbery.

The 14-year-old cut his finger jumping over a fence and rolled his ankle while running, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The boy received seven stitches in his finger.

During a search of the 17-year-old’s house, deputies said they found a pistol hidden in the ceiling. The stolen bags, which were dropped as the teens fled, were recovered.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653