There was a lot of police activity in the area of St. Helens Elementary School yesterday, activity that caused the school to go into lockdown two separate times. The first incident came after a knifepoint robbery that occurred at 8:30 am at the 20th Avenue Grocery. Longview Police say that a 15 year-old male suspect came into the store and tried to buy cigarettes. When the clerk denied the purchase, the teen suspect allegedly pulled a knife on the clerk, then ran out. The elementary school was put into lockdown as Longview Police and other agencies responded and set up a perimeter. The teen was located and arrested at about 9:20 am, picked up in the 300 block of 19th. That suspect is now being held on a first-degree robbery charge, booked into the Cowlitz County Juvenile Services Center. It’s noted that the teen did not get any cigarettes.
The second lockdown happened at about 12:30 pm, after a burglary call in the 200 block of 27th Avenue, very near to the school. The person who called 911 reported seeing two people going into the back door of a house. As police responded, one person was seen running away. The suspect disappeared after a short foot chase, so they once again set up a perimeter for a suspect search. Police combed the area from 26th to 32nd Avenue, working their way from Beech Street. The suspect was not located, and the lockdown was lifted around 2:15 pm. It appears that jewelry, cash and personal items were stolen; the investigation is continuing.