North Bend bank robber could be ‘the AK-47-Bandit’
July 13, 2012
The man who robbed a North Bend bank at gunpoint July 6 is suspected of similar, unsolved crimes in California where he shot a patrol officer.
North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner said a man walked into Chase Bank at about 6 p.m. and immediately raised a black assault rifle with a drum magazine, and began barking orders.
“The teller saw the gun and knew immediately they were getting robbed,” Toner said. “They were very frightened, but they stayed calm and did exactly what he asked.”
Six people, customers and employees, were in the store at the time of the robbery, but Toner said no one was hurt.
According to the press release, the suspect parked his vehicle directly in front of the North Bend bank, making no attempt to hide it. The vehicle is described as a reddish-orange, very dirty/dusty, Jeep (perhaps a Liberty or Patriot). It may have out-of-state license plates with a prominent blue stripe across the top of the plates. The spare tire was rear-mounted and the cover may have a multicolored design.
The suspect is described as 5-foot,10-inches to 6-feet tall with a heavy build and dark hair. His shirt was a two-tone gray, vertically striped, button-up long sleeve. He wore baggy blue jeans and black or dark boots and his forearms were described as “very hairy,” Toner said.
This makes the third time a North Bend bank has been robbed since 1997. Bank of America was robbed in 2001 by a suspect handing a teller a note, Toner said. In November 2009, Sterling Savings was also robbed with a note. Toner said the 58-year-old North Bend man in that bank robbery was arrested, charged and convicted.
“This is the first ‘take over’-style robbery we’ve had in recent history,” he said, adding that those types of robberies can be “particularly dangerous due to the presence of the weapon and the excited state that the (suspect) is in during the event.”
King County Major Crimes, which is working on the case, released a video and is asking the public to give any information to Detective Mike Mellis at 206-263-2086, or call 911.
Michele Mihalovich: 392-6434, ext. 246, or email@example.com. Comment at www.snovalleystar.com.