Prosser jewelry store robber pursued, arrested near Benton City

Benton City
W Rayhill Rd & W Oie Hwy (Google Maps)

BENTON CITY, Wash. — Shortly after reports that a Prosser jewelry store had been infiltrated by an armed robber, law enforcement across Benton County converged on I-82 and arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with the crime.

According to a release issued by the Prosser Police Department, officers were dispatched to Becks Jewelry on the 700-block of 6th St at approximately 11:30 a.m. on July 22, 2022. When they arrived, police made contact with an employee who told them the suspect was a white male who entered the store and grabbed several rings.

When he attempted to walk out of the store, the suspect was confronted by an employee. That’s when the suspect allegedly threatened to use a firearm concealed in his pocket if he were not let go. The employees say the suspect exited the store and drove off in a white Ford Mustang with Washington state plates.

Prosser police officers searched the area and finally came upon the suspect driving eastbound near milepost 97 of I-82. One of the officers tried to stop the suspect, but he allegedly sped away and a pursuit was launched.

However, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office took over the operation when the suspect entered the Benton City area, which is BCSO jurisdiction. That’s when the suspect allegedly rammed into a patrol car in an unsuccessful attempt to elude arrest.

The suspect veered off the road at the intersection of W Rayhill Rd & W Old Inland Empire Hwy. Prosser police say they arrested the suspect and recovered both the jewelry and the firearm from inside the car.

Law enforcement identified the suspect as 20-year-old Mark Lauteren from Benton City. He is lodged in the Benton County Jail and is being charged with armed robbery and felony eluding.

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