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Robbery suspects plead not guilty

Two men arrested in connection with a rash of armed robberies in Federal Way pleaded not guilty last week in King County Superior Court.

Christopher T. Yarbrough, 19, and Jesse M. Johnson, 20, were arraigned last Thursday morning. Both are being held on $200,000 bail at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The county’s prosecuting attorney charged Yarbrough with one count of first-degree burglary and Johnson with three counts of first-degree robbery and one count of first-degree burglary following a carjacking, two robberies and a home invasion in which a woman was held at gunpoint about 40 minutes while the men stole things out of her home.

A man was pumping gas into his white Acura Integra at a Federal Way gas station about 1 a.m. May 9 when he was approached by three men who asked him for a ride. When he said no, one of the men flashed a black handgun and said, “You’re giving us a ride,” according to charging papers.

They forced the man into his car and held the gun to his head, giving him directions as he drove, police said. They let him out about a block away from the gas station and left with his car, wallet, $28, his identification and cell phone.

The man walked back to the gas station with a friend to report the carjacking and bumped into one of the carjackers, police said. They got into a confrontation and one of the carjackers flashed a silver handgun and demanded money.

When the man told him he’d already been robbed, the carjacker fired the gun into the air. The man and his friend ran from the gas station.

About 1:10 a.m. May 9, another man was walking in the parking lot of his apartment complex when he was jumped by three men matching the description of the carjackers, according to police.

The man told police the robbers placed a chrome handgun to his head, took his wallet and keys and left in a white car.

At 5 a.m. May 10, another man and two friends told police they were in a car stopped near the mailboxes at the same apartment complex when a white car pulled alongside them.

Two passengers and the driver of the white car got out and held them at gunpoint, demanding money, police said.

One of the robbers ordered a passenger out of the car and held a gun to his cheek while he searched him. Another passenger in the car was awakened by one of the robbers holding a silver handgun to his forehead, authorities said.

All three men allegedly gave the suspects their wallets and the driver gave the men his keys.

An hour later, a woman heard loud pounding on her front door, according to charging papers.

She told police she didn’t know two of the men, but thought the third might be her boyfriend.

The men forced their way into her apartment and held her at gunpoint about 40 minutes while they robbed her of her computer, jewelry, pager, stereo, cell phone and a pair of baby shoes, authorities said.

Federal Way Police found the white car at the Redondo Apartments May 12. A witness told police three men matching the description of the suspects had been there the previous afternoon.

Police ordered everyone out of the apartment, but a standoff ensued when Yarbrough refused to come out, according to charging papers. He emerged after police used tear gas.

A 7-year-old boy told police his brother, Johnson, hid a gray handgun between his mother’s mattresses in her room.

Police searched the apartment and found property stolen from the woman’s apartment, a gun matching the description of one used in the robberies and a wallet and identification belonging to one of the victims, charging papers said.

During questioning, Johnson told police he and his friends robbed the man at the gas station, jumped and robbed the man in the parking lot of the apartment complex, robbed the car of men at the same apartment complex and burglarized the woman’s apartment.

Yarbrough told police he had been walking by the woman’s apartment when he saw Johnson and another man. He said he spoke briefly with Johnson, then left.

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