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Christmas robbery foiled by stupidity

POULSBO — The old adage that crooks “return to the scene of the crime” rang true in the early hours of Christmas Day but not for the typical reason.

At approximately 2:15 a.m. Dec. 25, the Poulsbo Police Department received a call from the Chevron station on Highway 305 and Hostmark that a robbery was in progress. A young man brandished a butterfly knife and “several times threatened to kill” employees at the Chevron if they didn’t give him money, Poulsbo Police Sgt. Bill Playter said Monday. The robber’s accomplice waited in the car.

Despite the threats and the suspect’s attempts to cut the phone line, one of the Chevron employees dialed 911.

“He got mad and knocked all the stuff off the counter and left,” Playter said of the would-be robber, noting that the two fled the scene in a red 1999 Honda Accord.

Law enforcement from Poulsbo, Suquamish and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office arrived and began searching the area for the vehicle and suspects in question. They could have just as easily stayed put.

About an hour and a half later, Chevron employees again dialed 911 as the familiar red Honda pulled into the parking lot. the suspects had returned — this time to ask directions out of town.

“I guess they got lost,” Playter surmised. “They’re not the brightest bulbs in the closet.”

The two once again left the scene and were apprehended on their way to Kingston by sheriff’s deputies and PPD Officer Daniel LaFrance. The suspects not only admitted to the attempted robbery but a burglary they committed at Blockbuster Video in Silverdale earlier that night.

A search of the car yielded the knife and more than 30 video games. Jared Persitz, 22, of Vancouver , and Matthew Barela, 22, of Aberdeen, were arrested on charges of second degree burglary and first degree robbery. They are being detained at the Kitsap County Jail. Bail has been set at $250,000 each.

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