Suspect charged in two bank robberies
December 3, 2009
By Dan Catchpole
Suspect has four prior convictions for bank robberies
King County prosecutors have charged a suspect with robbing two banks, including Sterling Savings Bank in North Bend, in early November.
The man, Warren Richardson, was arraigned at the King County Courthouse Dec. 1.According to court documents, Richardson confessed to detectives from the King County Sheriff’s Office after they tracked him down at Harborview Medical Center Nov. 16 for an unrelated medical issue.
The suspect told police he’d robbed the banks because “he was broke with no job,” according to court documents.
However, the two robberies netted approximately $2,340, some of which was rendered useless after a security dye pack exploded.
Richardson has an extensive criminal history, according to court documents. He was previously convicted in four robberies of financial institutions in 2001, and has also been convicted for criminal trespassing, negligent driving, fourth-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and theft.
North Bend police helped track Richardson down.
“It’s the tips from the locals that led us to the guy,” said North Bend Police Chief Sgt. Mark Toner.
He credited photos of the suspect running in local newspapers with helping bring in tips.
According to court documents, one local resident identified the man in the photos as Richardson.
Det. Mike Mellis of the King County Sheriff’s Office arrested him at Harborview, where Richardson confessed to both robberies after being read his rights, according to court documents.
The suspect allegedly walked into North Bend’s Sterling Savings Bank shortly before closing on Nov. 6, and told a teller, “I’m here to rob you,” witnesses told police.
The teller asked the man if he was joking, to which he said no.
As the teller gathered up the cash from her till, he told her to hurry up, and threatened to pull a gun, which witnesses never saw according to court papers.
According to police, witnesses said he was surprised at the small amount of cash—approximately $358—in mostly small bills and asked, “Is that it?”
A witness outside the bank told police he saw the man flee, but police were unable to locate the suspect.
Three days later, a man with a similar physical description walked into Frontier Bank in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, and reportedly demanded the teller to give him all her money, specifically $10 and $20 bills.
The bank told police the man made off with $1982 in cash, much of which was ruined when a security dye pack went off outside the bank.
Richardson posted a $250,000 bail after his arrest.
His last known address is in Seattle, according to King County prosecutors, but he had lived in North Bend, Toner said.