Northwest NEWS

August 17, 1998

Local News

Man robs Kingsgate bank

   rob

The FBI says this man, who robbed the Kingsgate Washington Mutual last week, is responsible for at least four other heists in the area.

FBI suspects it's his fifth


   by Andrew Walgamott
   Staff reporter

  
   KINGSGATE--A man who the FBI says is responsible for four other local bank robberies, hit the Kingsgate Washington Mutual last Thursday afternoon.
  
   According to Steven Dean, FBI Violent Crimes Task Force supervisor, the suspect handed a teller a note written on a white envelope at around 4:30 p.m.
  
   The note read to the effect, "This is a robbery; give me the money," Dean said.
  
   "It was very low key," said King County Sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart. "He said he had a gun, but didn't display one."
  
   Witnesses who were inside the bank at 14400 124th Ave. N.E. told a local paper they didn't even realize a robbery had just occurred.
  
   After asking for his note back, the suspect left with an undisclosed amount of money. He was last seen crossing N.E. 144th St. to a 7-eleven. Sheriff's deputies, who swarmed into the area within minutes of the holdup, stopped one man in Woodinville but later released him.
  
   Dean described the suspect as being in his late 20s to early 30s, 5' 8", 160 pounds, dark hair with a medium complexion, and growing a beard. He wore a baseball-style cap, sunglasses, a long sleeve shirt and light-colored pants.
  
   Dean said last week's robbery fit the pattern of four other recent Eastside bank robberies.

   A similar suspect robbed the Totem Lake Washington Mutual July 2, the Totem Lake Key Bank July 13, the U.S. Bank in Kirkland Aug. 3, and a Kenmore Key Bank Aug. 6.
  
   All were robbed in the afternoon by a man wearing a hat and sunglasses. Bank photos show the suspect wearing a Kansas City Royals hat previously, but Dean said he appeared to be wearing a Georgia Tech hat in the Kingsgate heist.
  
   The bank was closed immediately after last week's robbery.
  
   Customers were turned away as deputies preserved the crime scene until FBI agents arrived.
  
   In another recent local robbery, the Totem Lake Washington Mutual was robbed Aug. 8 by a white male in his 50s who claimed to have a bomb.