by: David Ham Updated:
Kent, Wash. - A repeat felon who police said grabbed cash from another customer at a 7-Eleven was easy to identify -- because he used his state welfare card to buy food before he robbed the customer next to him.
Police said the theft happened at the 7-Eleven at 23847 108th Ave. S.E. in Kent. Surveillance video shows Javonte A. Williams making purchases with his EBT card, which is issued by the State Department of Social and Health Services. "He obviously must have seen she had the cash in her hands. She goes to give it to the clerk and he snatches and takes off out of the store to the nearby apartment complex," said Detective Melanie Frazier with Kent Police. She added, "Sometimes criminals aren't the smartest and they don't think they're leaving behind evidence. They think they got away with this -- 'I'm gone, I'm gone, I ran right across the street to my house' -- which doesn't make sense."
The victim was leaning against the counter with $1,520 cash she wanted to use for a money order. Police received a search warrant to get the name of the welfare card used immediately before the theft, and that showed it belonged to Williams, 22. He remains on supervision with the Department of Corrections.
A KIRO 7 crew went to Williams' apartment to ask him about the allegations. No one came to the door, but from a window someone said he was not there and it was not known when he would be back. Investigators contacted his community corrections officer, who provided his address. At his apartment, police reported finding Williams' welfare card and the clothes he was believed to have been wearing during the robbery.
Williams has a lengthy felony history that includes six residential burglary convictions, drugs, vehicle theft, criminal trespass and three domestic violence assault convictions. He is out of jail on $40,000 bond. His next court appearance is July 31.