Suspect arrested in rape, robbery of Olympia area woman

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OLYMPIA — The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said Friday night that  a suspect had been arrested in the rape and robbery of a woman in the Olympia area last weekend.

The sheriff’s office said the suspect is currently in the Thurston County Jail and that no details would be provided until Monday.

On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office released a composite sketch and two photos of a suspect who raped and robbed a woman at knifepoint while she was walking to the store.

The sheriff’s office said the suspect, just minutes after the assault, entered a Rite Aid drug store at the southwest corner of Yelm Highway and Rainier Road SE at 8:31 p.m. Saturday and exited at 8:34 p.m.

EARLIER STORY ON THE CASE BELOW:

“I have a daughter who’s 20, and I don’t want her walking around if there’s a rapist out,” Olympia native Michele Christin said Tuesday night. “It’s kind of scary.”

“I have a niece that attends some gymnastics at the school, so it concerned me that something in an area like this could happen,” added Joseph Hammons.

Deputies say a 26-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk on Rainier Road Saturday night, when a man grabbed her.

“She had no knowledge that he was there,” said Lt. Cliff Ziesemer of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. “She just all of a sudden got grabbed, grabbed from behind and taken behind the warehouse.”

The man held a knife to her throat while he raped and robbed her, Ziesemer said.  Then he ran down the street.

“After that happened, she ran to a neighborhood and knocked on a door. She was very distraught.”

The suspect got the woman’s debit card and attempted to take out money from a local ATM. Sheriff’s deputies are now working with the bank to see if they can get the surveillance video. They’re also hoping to put together a sketch of the suspect.

But in the meantime, they’re warning women in Thurston County to be alert and not take any chances with their safety.

“She was walking by herself. It would be smart to always have somebody with you,” said Ziesemer.

“I make sure now that all my doors are locked,” said Christin. “I don’t go out at night walking around, I wouldn’t let my daughter go out walking around and I call her more often when I know she’s out at night.”

 

 

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