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Man charged in Central Valley Road robbery

POULSBO — A Bremerton man has been charged with the robbery of a North Kitsap store five months after the incident.

James Sterling Turner, 33, was charged with first-degree robbery in Kitsap County District Court.  He became the lead suspect in the October robbery of the Central Valley Store, on Central Valley Road, after investigators matched his DNA to that found on evidence at the crime scene.

Deputies were dispatched to the Central Valley Store at 11 p.m. on Oct. 11. The store clerk reported that a man entered the store just before closing time. He grabbed a can of beer and asked for a pack of cigarettes. After the clerk retrieved the cigarettes, the man produced a black handgun.

“I’m sorry I have to do this. Give me all the money out of the till,” the man said, according to a sheriff’s office report.

The clerk asked the man if he was serious.

“Times are hard,” he reportedly said.

The man took the money, put it in his pockets and left, the clerk reported.

The clerk noted that the man’s teeth were in poor condition.

Surveillance video of the store showed the suspect approach the store on foot while smoking a cigarette and texting on his cell phone before the crime. He threw the cigarette on the ground before entering the store. Deputies found the cigarette butt and placed it into evidence.

The cigarette butt was sent to the Washington state laboratory to test for DNA. Sheriff’s investigators received the results on March 4. DNA on the cigarette butt reportedly matched Turner’s on file.

Deputies searched for Turner at his last known residence in Bremerton. He was not found, but his belongings were. Among his possessions was allegedly a black pellet gun — a replica of a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber — that deputies noted had the appearance of a real handgun.

A warrant was issued for Turner’s arrest on March 7. He soon crossed paths with law enforcement in Spokane County, where he was taken into custody. He was back in Kitsap County on March 12 and booked into Kitsap County Jail.

Bail has been set at $100,000.

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