subway robbery 150x120 crop.jpg
Nitschke on the job.
Joshua Nitschke earned the nickname "Fast-Food Bandit" after he allegedly robbed at least 30 Tacoma-area restaurants and gas stations over the

"/>

Joshua Nitschke: Fast-Food Bandit Captured, Suspected of Robbing 30 Pizza and Sandwich Shops

subway robbery 150x120 crop.jpg
Nitschke on the job.
Joshua Nitschke earned the nickname "Fast-Food Bandit" after he allegedly robbed at least 30 Tacoma-area restaurants and gas stations over the past two months. He was finally caught Sunday in Lakewood when he and his girlfriend/accomplice Cassandra Koepke tried to knock over a Subway (their second of the night) that had been staked out by police.

At around 6 p.m. Sunday night, about an hour before he was busted, Nitschke strolled into a Subway in Lakewood. According to Pierce County Sheriffs, he flashed a gun, and told the sandwich artist behind the counter to empty the register. By this point, Nitschke had the routine down pat. His first attempt was October 12, and the next three targets were Subways. But on this occaison, things did not go according to plan. The employee noticed Nitschke's gun was a fake, and refused to fork over any cash.

Pierce County Sheriffs spokesman Ed Troyer says local police agencies were alerted after the botched job, and many sent officers to Nitschke's preferred businesses in their areas. Sure enough, Nitschke tried another Subway, this one at 105th Street Southwest and South Tacoma Way. A Lakewood police special operations unit put the cuffs on him as he exited the restaurant. Police also surrounded his getaway car, where Koepke was reportedly waiting in the passenger seat.

175px-Nietzsche187c.jpg
Nietzsche was a philosopher. Josh Nitschke* is a bandit.
Both Nitschke and Koepke were booked into the Pierce County Jail. They are scheduled to make their first court appearance later this afternoon, and will likely face a litany of armed robbery charges. Nitschke was caught carrying a "replica" pistol, but according to Troyer the phoney gun makes no difference in the eyes of the law.

"It's the same amount of trouble," Troyer says. "You're putting the same fear into people. Some of these people are traumatized -- this guy comes in and puts something that a gun in your face. A lot of the people who work at these places are teenagers."

Indeed, all of Nitschke's alleged targets are the smallest of potatoes. In addition to Subway franchises, he is also accused of robbing several Little Ceaser's Pizza joints, a few Papa Murphy's stores, and several mini-mart gas stations.

"He didn't get much money out of 'em, that's why he had to do it every day," Troyer says. "Sometimes he didn't get any money at all, sometimes he got 15 bucks. I think the most he ever got was a hundred and something."

Troyer says the couple abuses prescription pills, and Nitschke pulled the fast-food heists to support their habit. His (again, alleged) prolific career stats come courtesy of CrimeStoppers, and they are impressive in their own depressing way. Including the two pitiful attempts Sunday night, he nearly averaged a robbery every two days. Troyer says Nitschke also held down a full-time day job in addition to terrorizing fast-food restaurant employees.

  1. Wednesday October 12th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Pacific Ave. S. in Parkland
  2. Monday October 17th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Pacific Ave. S. in Spanaway
  3. Sunday October 30th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Meridian E. in Puyallup
  4. Monday October 31st, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on Pacific Ave. S. in Parkland
  5. Saturday November 5th, 2011, Papa Murphy's pizza on Canyon Rd. E. in South Hill
  6. Sunday November 6th, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on 72nd St. E. in Tacoma
  7. Tuesday November 8th, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on Meridian E. in Puyallup
  8. Wednesday November 9th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Yakima Ave. in the City of Tacoma
  9. Tuesday November 15th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on S. Hosmer St. in the City of Tacoma
  10. Wednesday November 16th, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on S. Meridian St. in the City of Puyallup
  11. Thursday November 17th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Pacific Ave. S. in the City of Tacoma
  12. Saturday November 19th, 2011, AM/PM convenience store on Portland Ave. E. in Tacoma
  13. Sunday November 20th, 2011, Papa Murphy's pizza on Meridian E. in Puyallup
  14. Monday November 21st, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on Orchard St. W. in the City of University Place
  15. Tuesday November 22nd, 2011, Little Caesars Pizza on S. Sprague Ave. in the City of Tacoma
  16. Friday November 25th, 2011, Canyon Road Gas & Deli on Canyon Rd. E. in Puyallup
  17. Sunday November 27th, 2011, Chevron gas station on S. Meridian St. in the City of Puyallup *attempt*
  18. Sunday November 27th, 2011, The Pit Stop convenience store on S. Hill Park Dr. in the City of Puyallup
  19. Monday November 28th, 2011, Little Caesars pizza on S. 38th St. in the City of Tacoma
  20. Monday November 28th, 2011, Shell gas station on S. 38th St. in the City of Tacoma
  21. Wednesday November 30th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Portland Ave. E. in Tacoma
  22. Thursday December 1st, 2011, Summit Chevron on Canyon Rd. E. in South Hill
  23. Sunday December 4th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on 72nd St. E. in the City of Tacoma
  24. Sunday December 4th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Orchard St. W. in the City of University Place
  25. Tuesday December 6th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on South Tacoma Way in the City of Tacoma
  26. Tuesday December 6th, 2011, Subway sandwiches on Steele St. S. in the City of Lakewood
Nitschke reportedly confessed to all of the robberies.

*A Facebook search for Josh Nitschke turns up one match for the Tacoma area, a graduate of Franklin Pierce High School in 2004, making him about 26 years-old. He lists "criminology" among his interests, and "lifes a bitch" as his favorite quotation. If he and the Fast-Food Bandit are not the same person, it's a coincidence that probably would have amused that other Nietzsche, if he were still around to hear about it.

Follow The Daily Weekly on Facebook and Twitter.

 
comments powered by Disqus