St. Helens Elementary School in Longview was locked down twice Thursday because of nearby crimes, including a knife-point robbery, according to police and school officials.

Police Sgt. Chris Blanchard said a 15-year-old walked into 20th Avenue Grocery and attempted to buy cigarettes shortly after 8:30 a.m. When the clerk refused to sell, the youth allegedly flashed a knife at the clerk and then fled. Police took a call from the clerk at 8:41 a.m.

Blanchard said the suspect did not get any cigarettes.

Blanchard said officers notified St. Helens Elementary School, which went into lockdown from about 8:30 to 10 a.m., according to Longview School District spokeswoman Sandy Catt.

Officers found the suspect in the 300 block of 19th Avenue at around 9:20 a.m. and arrested him without trouble, Blanchard said. Officers booked the youth, whose age initially was reported at 17, into the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree robbery.

St. Helens underwent a second lockdown from 12:30 to about 2:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon due to heavy police activity near the school, Catt said.

Blanchard said Longview police received a burglary call at 11:59 a.m. from the 200 block of 27th Avenue. The reporting person said two people entered the back door of a nearby home.

According to Blanchard, police arrived and saw a subject flee the area. An officer lost sight of the burglar after a short foot chase. Police set up containment in the area bordered by 26th and 29th avenues, Beech Street and 30th Avenue to 32nd avenues. However, they were unable to arrest anyone.

Some jewelry, cash and other items appear to be stolen, according to Blanchard. Officers are investigating leads, he said.



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