Trial nears for man accused of North Bend bank robbery
August 26, 2010
By Dan Catchpole
NEW — 7:00 a.m. Aug. 26, 2010
The trial of the man charged with robbing a North Bend bank last fall is scheduled to begin Sept. 1.
The man, Warren Richardson, has been charged by King County prosecutors with robbing two banks, including Sterling Savings Bank in North Bend in early November.
“If convicted on these charges, he’s looking at several years in prison,” said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office.
Richardson pleaded not guilty to the charges during his Dec. 1 arraignment. He has been held on $250,000 bail since his arrest.
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, according to court documents.
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 only about $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.
He allegedly walked into North Bend’s Sterling Savings Bank shortly before closing time Nov. 6, and told a teller, “I’m here to rob you,” witnesses told police.
The teller asked him if he was joking, and 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 suspect flee, but police were unable to locate him.
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 give him all of her money, specifically $10 and $20 bills.
The bank told police the man made off with $1,982 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 prosecutors, but he had lived in North Bend, North Bend Police Chief Sgt. Mark Toner said.
North Bend police helped track Richardson down.
“It’s the tips from the locals that led us to the guy,” Toner said.
He credited photos of the suspect running in local newspapers with helping bring in tips.
One local resident identified the man in the photos as Richardson, according to court documents.
Det. Mike Mellis, of the King County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Richardson at Harborview, where he confessed to both robberies after being read his rights, court documents said.
Dan Catchpole: 392-6434, ext. 246, or firstname.lastname@example.org.