College Place men charged in robbery of Walla Walla lingerie shop

Both suspects were nabbed almost immediately.

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WALLA WALLA -- Two suspects in the robbery of Taboo Lingerie were formally charged Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Antonio Birrueta Jr., 26, was charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and third-degree theft.

Co-defendant Fredrick J. Mitzel Jr., 28, is accused of complicity to first-degree robbery and complicity to third-degree theft.

Police said Birrueta entered the lingerie store at 513 N. Wilbur Ave. about 5:40 p.m. on Saturday, pulled out a gun, pointed it at the female clerk and demanded all her cash.

"(The clerk) said the suspect came around the counter, with the gun still pointed directly at her, and grabbed her," according to a police report filed in court. "The suspect forced her to open the register so he could access the money inside."

Birruetta emptied the cash and some items from shelves into a black bag from the store and left, police said. He then allegedly got into a vehicle driven by Mitzel.

Police said they stopped the car on Division Street south of Isaacs Avenue and apprehended the suspects based on information provided by witnesses who called 911.

An undisclosed amount of money, a BB pistol and other evidence allegedly were found in the car. The total value of items stolen amounts to less than $750, the police report says.

In separate interviews with police, both suspects reportedly confessed to planning and participating in the robbery.

Birrueta and Mitzel, both of 442 S.W. Eighth St., College Place, are being held in the County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail apiece.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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