Vancouver man appears on robbery, escape charges

Erick D. Butler allegedly stole $821 worth of merchandise, threatened loss prevention

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A Vancouver man appeared in Clark County Superior Court on Friday morning for allegedly robbing Nordstrom and Macy’s last month and escaping police custody.

Erick Devon Butler, 23, is accused of stealing $821 worth of merchandise on two separate occasions and threatening to beat up loss prevention personnel if they stopped him.

On Jan. 16, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court, Butler went into Nordstrom in the Westfield Vancouver mall with two other people and stuffed denim down the front of his pants, along with a beanie. A loss prevention officer followed them to the exit doors, where Butler told one of his accomplices they would beat up the officer if he tried anything, the affidavit said.

Once outside, Butler yelled at the officer, “What are you looking at? … I’m going to beat you down!” the affidavit said. Butler was seen getting into a parked car with a second person. A third person ran out of the doors and got in the car, as well, the affidavit said.

Court documents say that the next day, Butler went into Macy’s with a person who had also accompanied him the day before. Loss prevention was alerted about the prior “grab and run” theft. Butler and the other person concealed clothing and left the store, according to court documents.

When a loss prevention officer approached them, the second person threatened to beat him up, according to court documents. The documents said the officer tried to grab Butler, but he ran through the parking lot and got into a Pontiac Grand Am, along with the second person.

Butler was identified through store surveillance footage from both stores, and warrants were issued for his arrest and to search his vehicle and residence.

On Feb. 13, after Butler left his house on Carlson Road in the Meadow Homes neighborhood, he was flagged down by police and arrested. Before being placed in the patrol car, he ran away while handcuffed, according to court documents. He was caught about 50 yards away.

While searching Butler’s vehicle and house, police found clothing matching the descriptions of what was reported stolen from Nordstrom and Macy’s.

He was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of first-degree escape and two counts of second-degree robbery. He’s held on $25,000 bail with conditions that will be set at his next court appearance, scheduled for March 6.