Centralia police arrest two Grays Harbor County robbery suspects

Pair accused of halting vehicle on U.S. Highway 12, robbing occupants at gunpoint


Two suspects in an armed robbery reported out of Grays Harbor County on Jan. 30 were arrested in Centralia on Thursday.

The suspects, identified by the Centralia Police Department as Brian Cruz, 31, of Centralia, and Tenille L. Squally, 32, of Yelm, are accused of following a vehicle on westbound U.S. Highway 12 near Porter at about 4:40 a.m. on Jan. 30. The suspects’ vehicle reportedly passed the victims’ vehicle before coming to a sudden stop, forcing the victims’ vehicle to stop behind them. After the victims’ vehicle stopped, “A masked man in his 30s then got out of the suspect vehicle and robbed the victims at gunpoint demanding cash and their cellphones,” according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.

The victims reported the robbery at approximately 8 a.m. on Jan. 30.

“Our deputies and detectives immediately went to work and were able to identify the suspects and their vehicle through surveillance cameras. It was determined at this time that the suspects were from the Centralia/Chehalis area,” the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release.

At 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 1, the Centralia Police Department received a Flock Safety Camera alert on the suspects’ vehicle in the 1000 block of Eckerson Road, according to Centralia police call logs.

Centralia officers “located the vehicle and detained the suspects without incident,” the Centralia Police Department stated.

Detectives with the Grays Harbor County Drug Task Force soon arrived at the scene, took custody of the suspects and obtained a search warrant for the suspects’ vehicle.

In their search of the vehicle, detectives found the firearm used in the robbery and the clothing the suspect was wearing at the time of the incident, according to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.

Cruz was arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, and possession of a stolen firearm.

Squally was released at the scene, but accomplice to robbery and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm charges have been referred to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office.

“The sheriff’s office is currently in the process of buying several Flock cameras that will be strategically placed through the county to assist local law enforcement locate not only suspects of crimes but also witnesses of crimes, stolen vehicles, missing persons, Amber alerts and vulnerable adults,” the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office stated.

Flock Safety is an Atlanta-based security company specializing in automated license plate recognition technology. Cameras are designed to provide law enforcement with leads they need to start investigations by providing license plate numbers and vehicle descriptions, which include the make, model and color of the vehicle.

The Centralia Police Department installed 20 Flock cameras in April 2023 and, after a two-month test period, the cameras helped Centralia police recover eight stolen vehicles and solve 20 significant crimes, including a drive-by shooting, possible child kidnapping, three organized retail thefts and two burglaries, according to previous Chronicle reporting.

The City of Chehalis and the City of Napavine have since installed their own Flock camera systems.