Local man wanted for robbery
Area law enforcement agencies are looking for a Grand Coulee man wanted in connection with an alleged armed robbery of the Blue Moon Smoke Shop in Coulee Dam.
A clerk at the shop said that Phillip Cody Ruiz, 23, entered the shop and said he wanted to purchase some cigarettes, but had left his wallet in the car. When he returned, clerk Sandra Waters was on her cellphone, and Ruiz ordered her to get off the phone and give him the money in the cash register. He ordered her not to call the cops or he would be back.
Waters said that Ruiz, known to her as Cody, had his hand in his sweater pocket as if he had a gun. She said she thought he did have a gun.
Waters said when he asked for the money, she said, “Are you kidding?” and he replied, “I’ll show you kidding.”
Waters said Ruiz was known at the shop and had been in a number of times. He was the only one in the shop at the time of the incident, occurring about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Ruiz reportedly has a large tattoo “Suwoop” on his right forearm, according to the police report.
About $1,200 was taken, owner Billy Nicholson later told police.
Waters called Nicholson right after Ruiz left and told him, “I have just been robbed by Cody.”
Nicholson came to the store and showed police a picture of Ruiz that he had on his cellphone. In a subsequent lineup of photos, Waters picked out Ruiz who she said came in frequently.
Grand Coulee Officer Adam Hunt went to the scene as a backup officer and later supplied Coulee Dam police with an address for Ruiz at 103 Young Street, in Grand Coulee and a picture of the suspect.
Coulee Dam Police Chief Pat Collins said other agencies in the area were alerted that Ruiz was wanted.
Grand Coulee Police were alerted the next day, Wednesday, that Ruiz might be at Coulee Medical Center and went to that location, but he had already left. Hospital authorities were advised to let police know if he returned, and that if they were called the arrest would be made away from their premises.