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Arrest made in attempted carjacking in casino parking lot

File photo. Whatcom News

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies booked a Snohomish County man into Whatcom County Jail charged with suspicion of 1st degree robbery related to an attempted carjacking in the parking lot of the Silver Reef Hotel & Casino at 4876 Haxton Way on December 9th.

The attempted carjacking was first reported in December by The Bellingham Herald.

According to an Affidavit of Probable Cause filed with State Superior Court in Whatcom County, a woman walked from the casino to her car in the parking lot on December 9th while talking to a friend on her phone when, while unlocking the car, she was struck on her shoulder. Turning around, she found herself facing a man she did not know standing about 2 inches from her. He demanded she give him her car, grabbing her hand and keys. The woman struggled with the man during which time he was reported to have said, “I’m going to shoot you. I will shoot you.” The woman pushed the man and broke free but knocked herself down in the process. The man then reached into his coat pocket, so the woman thought he was going to shoot her so she ran back to the casino for help.

The affidavit said woman told investigators she saw outline of a hard L-shaped object when the man reached into his coat pocket. Although the man never pulled the object out, the woman was certain it was a gun.

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The woman’s friend overheard the male threatening the woman according to the affidavit and the incident was recorded by the casino’s security surveillance system.

Jesse Arthur Grooms, age 25, was identified as the suspect after other casino surveillance video showed him signing up for casino services and his driver’s license was recorded in the process. The photo on the license looked like the man seen attacking the woman in the parking lot.

Deputies attempted to locate Grooms at his Snohomish County home but he eluded capture and, as of December 31st, his location was unknown. A state-wide warrant for his arrest was subsequently issued according to court records.

Court records show Grooms was charged on January 14th in Snohomish County with suspicion of trafficking stolen goods.

Whatcom County Jail records show Groom was booked into the jail yesterday afternoon, January 24th, and charged with suspicion of 1st degree robbery. He is scheduled to make a preliminary appearance in court this afternoon.

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